The US Navy has successfully conducted the first in a series of ballistic missile defence flight tests for the AN / SPY-6(V) air and missile defence radar (AMDR).

The trial saw the AN / SPY-6(V) AMDR successfully search for, detect and maintain track on a short-range ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii.

Programme Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems Above Water Sensors major programme manager US Navy captain Seiko Okano said: “This marked a historic moment for the navy; it's the first time a ballistic missile target was tracked by a wideband digital beam-forming radar.

“This radar will revolutionise the future of the US Navy and is bringing a capability our nation needs today.”

The test is said to have met its primary objectives based on preliminary data, and programme officials will continue to assess the system's performance using telemetry and other information collected during the radar’s target test.

"This marked a historic moment for the navy; it's the first time a ballistic missile target was tracked by a wideband digital beamforming radar."

The AN / SPY-6(V) AMDR is being designed for the US Navy’s DDG 51 Flight III destroyer with an aim to offer the navy the latest technology for integrated air and missile defence.

Raytheon delivered its first AN / SPY-6(V) AMDR array to the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii in July.

The SPY-6(V) is developed with radar modular assemblies (RMAs) that function as a standalone radar, and can be grouped to create any size radar aperture from a single RMA to configurations larger than those facilitated by currently fielded radars.

It provides better range, sensitivity and discrimination accuracy than previous systems, and is equipped with various technologies such as digital beamforming and Gallium Nitride (GaN).

The radar is designed to increase battlespace, situational awareness and reaction time in order to effectively counter current and future threats.