AMDR completes first ballistic missile flight test

By Justin Doubleday / March 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The new radar being developed for the Navy's guided-missile destroyers has completed its first ballistic missile tracking test, the service announced today.

During the March 15 test off the coast of Hawaii, dubbed "Vigilant Hunter," the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) "searched for, detected and maintained track on a short-range ballistic missile target," according to a March 30 Navy statement. The event was the first "in a series" of planned BMD flight tests for the new radar. The test met its primary objectives "based on preliminary data," according to the statement.

"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," Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for above-water sensors, said in a statement. "This radar will revolutionize the future of the U.S. Navy and is bringing a capability our nation needs today."

The AMDR is the center of the Navy's upgraded Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The developmental radar has been out at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, HI, for testing since June. 179107

In December, the Navy cleared the radar's prime contractor, Raytheon, to begin buying low-rate initial production long-lead materials. The program is scheduled to reach a low-rate initial production decision in September.