(Washington D.C.) The Navy has laid the keel for its first new, Flight III DDG 51 surface warfare destroyer armed with improved weapons, advanced sensors and new radar 35-times more sensitive than most current systems, changing attack and defensive options for the surface fleet.
Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships such as more on-board power to accommodate laser weapons, new engines, improved electronics, fast-upgradeable software and a much more powerful radar. The Flight III Destroyers will be able to see and destroy a much wider range of enemy targets at farther distances.
The ship, called DDG 125, will be named the the USS Jack H. Lucas; it is the first of many Flight III Destroyers the Navy plans to build.
A new software and hardware enabled ship-based radar and fire control system, called Aegis Baseline 10, will drive a new technical ability for the ship to combine air-warfare and ballistic missile defense into a single system. The AN/SPY-6 radar, previously called Air and Missile Defense Radar, is engineered to simultaneously locate and discriminate multiple tracks, Scott Spence, Director for Naval Radar Systems for Integrated Defense Systems, Raytheon, told Warrior.
This means that the ship can succeed in more quickly detecting both approaching enemy drones, helicopters and low flying aircraft as well as incoming ballistic missiles.
“Having a flexible architecture allows us to adapt to new mission requirements. Identifying enemy aircraft is different than air traffic control,” Spence said.
Earlier this year, as part of a final step before formal integration of the radar onto Flight III Destroyers, the Navy conducted a successful intercept test against a ballistic missile target using the SPY 6 v1, a Navy statement said.
Service officials say the new ship uses newly integrated hardware and software with common interfaces, something which will enable continued modernization in future years. Called TI 16 (Technical Integration), the added components are engineered to give Aegis Baseline 10 additional flexibility should it integrate new systems such as emerging electronic warfare or laser weapons, according to Navy statements./National Interest