Raytheon wins the US Navy's SPY-6 radar contract that's worth $3.2 billion

The new radars would be a significant improvement over the legacy SPY-1 radars.
Loukia Papadopoulos
A SPY-6 radar array being manufactured.Raytheon Missiles & Defense

It seems the U.S. Navy is increasing its already formidable capabilities.

On Thursday, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, was awarded a $3.2 billion contract spread over five years of radar production to equip up to 31 U.S. Navy ships with SPY-6 radars, according to a press release by the firm.

The move will deliver unprecedented integrated air and missile defense capabilities for seven types of U.S. Navy ships over the next 40 years.

No other radar like the SPY-6

"There is no other radar with the surface maritime capabilities of SPY-6," said in the statement Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. "SPY-6 is the most advanced naval radar in existence, and it will provide our military a giant leap forward in capability for decades to come."

It is estimated that since its inception, more than $600 million has been invested in the development and manufacturing of the SPY-6 family of radars in order to allow them to bring new capabilities to the surface fleet, such as advanced electronic warfare protection and enhanced detection abilities.

In a meeting with reporters on Friday, Scott Spence, an executive director for naval radars at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, said that the new radars would be a significant improvement over the legacy SPY-1 radars that have been in use thus far.

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Greater detection ranges

This is because Navy operators “need the greater detection ranges and increased sensitivity, specifically in contested environments. You get a highly contested environment, you need a radar that can see through all that clutter and be able to detect those targets at great distances and give the warfighter more time to react, and determine exactly what they’re looking at and then how to defeat those particular threats,” he added.

He also stated that the new contract may see up to 46 radars provided to Navy ships by his firm, 15 more than initially presumed. The SPY-6 radar installation has already been completed on the Navy's first Flight III destroyer, the USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125).