The US Navy’s Dual-Band Radar that equips its forthcoming 14,500t Zumwalt class“destroyers” and Gerald R. Ford class super-carriers replaces several different radars with a single back-end. Merging Raytheon’s X-band SPY-3 with Lockheed Martin’s S-band VSR allows fewer radar antennas, faster response time, faster adaptation to new situations, one-step upgrades to the radar suite as a whole, and better utilization of the ship’s power, electronics, and bandwidth.
Rather than using the existing Dual-Band Radar design in new ships, however, the “Air and Missile Defense Radar” (AMDR) aimed to fulfill future CG (X)/ DG-51 Flight III cruiser needs through a new competition. It could end up being a big deal for the winning radar manufacturer, and for the fleet. If, and only if, the technical, power, and weight challenges can be mastered at an affordable price.