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US Navy’s cruiser in the corn field gets radar upgrade

AN/SPY-6(V)1 radar System at land-based test site Combat Systems Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) in Moorestown. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has accepted delivery of the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar System at the land-based Combat Systems Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) in Moorestown, N.J.

SPY-6 will be installed on new construction Flight III Destroyers starting with USS Jack H Lucas (DDG-125) in 2024. The radar will provide new and improved fleet capabilities, and installing and integrating it at the CSEDS will provide needed lessons learned to the Navy and its industry partners. The radar’s new power distribution system, for example, will be tested for the first time and integrated to support new SPY-6 operations.

“Today marks a historic day for AEGIS [TECHREP] and the US Navy as we usher in a new age of advanced sensor technology and a leap forward in combat power and lethality. The combined government and contractor team have shown how much can be accomplished in a short amount of time to support our Sailors! We are integrating game-changing technology and cutting-edge combat system algorithms to truly sharpen the tip of the sword,” AEGIS Technical Representative Commanding Officer, Capt. Phillip Mlynarski said Tuesday.

At the CSEDS, where the AEGIS Combat System (ACS) and AEGIS Weapons System (AWS) are tested, a live array will provide critical testing input to ensure software (computer programs) and hardware (radar, weapon elements) function according to specifications. As part of their core mission, the team at AEGIS TECHREP provide expertise on ACS and AWS engineering and test and evaluation. As AEGIS TECHREP does with other elements, testing SPY-6 on land in a controlled environment will enable them to identify and correct issues before they are deployed to the fleet.

The is the first project of its kind at the CSEDS since an array from the USS Cole (DDG-67) was installed in 2010. To meet the aggressive timeline, the AEGIS TECHREP team developed a massive integrated schedule to meet important milestones and plot out actions needed to meet those dates. Then, they began working through the complex technical requirements for contractual help, ultimately utilizing five different contracting vehicles.

Using those contracts, the AEGIS TECHREP team prepared the CSEDS building to support the array’s weight and power requirements. This drove the team to make major upgrades to the facility’s structure, electrical grid, and cooling plant. All this had to be completed without interrupting existing testing of AEGIS weapons system baselines occurring at the land-based test site.