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U.S. Navy unveils its new shipboard air traffic radar for the first time

The U.S. Navy demonstrated its new Shipboard Air Traffic Radar, AN/SPN-50, for the first time Oct. 23 at Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Maryland.

According to a recent Navy news release, the AN/SPN-50 , which is currently in the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase, is scheduled for a production decision in late 2020.

The AN/SPN-50 radar will begin replacing the Navy’s current radar system, AN/SPN-43C, on Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships in fiscal 2021.

“We’re bringing new capability for the warfighter so they can do their job better,” said Capt. Kevin Watkins, Naval Air Traffic Management Systems program office (PMA-213) program manager. “The current radar has been in service since the mid-1960s, and while its mission and procedures remain stable, it’s aging and its analog technology presents inherent performance limitations. A technology update is needed to close supportability gaps and mitigate these performance limitations.”

AN/SPN-50 provides aircraft position, radar signal and radar data at a larger range. Air traffic controllers use the data for aircraft sequencing and separation, airspace identification and containment, safety alerts, weather processing, and landing guidance.

The new digital radar system, with its modern radar processing, improves target detection and tracking in the presence of competing clutter and addresses spectrum restrictions currently experienced with AN/SPN-43C.

“ATC surveillance capability is key to reduced launch and recovery cycle times, and current and future sortie rates for the carrier air wing,” Watkins said.

With the new system air traffic controller teams on the ships can actually train onsite on the ship during times when they’re not flying and during times when the ship is not deployed. That will also allow the sailors to be ready when called away to go.

AN/SPN-50 is based on the agile production radar system, Sea Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB), currently operational on the Navy’s littoral combat ships. The U.S .Navy …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Naval)

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