The Navy successfully tracked a ballistic missile target on Jan. 31 using the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) in Kauai, Hawaii, the final developmental flight test in the AMDR program.

This test, named “Vigilant Nemesis,” involved a short-range ballistic missile target launched form the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The AMDR then searched for, detected, and maintained track on the target.

An artist’s rendering of Raytheon’s Air and Missile Defense Radar on a destroyer. (Image: Raytheon)

The AMDR is built by  Raytheon [RTN].

The Navy said this was the final developmental test in a set of ballistic missile defense flight tests to challenge the AMDR. Using preliminary data, the service said the test met its primary objective. Officials will keep evaluating system performance based on telemetry and other data from the test to confirm its success.

“The radar performed exactly as predicted. This completes our rigorous developmental test program to support the on-time delivery of the Navy’s newest Flight III destroyer,” Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for above water sensors at Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), said in a statement.

Raytheon said in a statement that the SPY-6 test was “exceeding all performance requirements” in the most stressing test so far.

“AN/SPY-6(V)1 continues to stack up test successes and milestones, proving the maturity of its design and its exceptional capabilities. The radar is on track to deliver game-changing integrated air and missile defense technology to the surface fleet through its ability to simultaneously address air and missile defense targets,” Okano added in a separate statement.

This kind of integrated air and missile defense testing started in March 2017 (Defense Daily, March 31, 2017). That first test was called “Vigilant Hunter.”

AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar array at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. (Photo: Raytheon(

The SPY-6 AMDR is being developed for the new Flight III version of the Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 destroyer. It aims to have greater range, sensitivity, and discriminating accuracy to help increase the effectiveness of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) interceptors compared to the currently used SPY-1 radars.

Most of the Flight III destroyer changes are oriented around accommodating the SPY-6, with a new power plant and the Baseline 10 Aegis Combat System.

Last month, a Navy official said this system testing has gone “very well” and had thus far successfully performed 14 ballistic missile defense tracking engagements with one more to go. “Vigilant Nemesis” was the 15th live ballistic missile test for the AMDR (Defense Daily, Jan. 18).

The AMDR SPY-6 is currently in production and is on schedule to be delivered to the fight DDG-51 Flight III ship, the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG) in 2020.