Navy changes radar systems for the DD(X) warship program

The Navy has switched to a different radar system for its advanced DD(X) warships.

The Navy's $2.9 billion, DD(X) networked warships program will use S-Band radar systems, rather than L-Band radar, which the service originally planned to use on the next-generation warships, Navy brass have decided.

S-Band radar operates at a higher frequency and will improve the ships' ability to track aircraft and missiles.

'The decision effectively creates a radar road map for the Navy which draws on extensive, successful experience with S-Band' on the Aegis radar system, John Young, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said in a statement.

Aegis radar is connected to computers to detect attacks and coordinate responses. The S-Band radar system will provide 'enhanced capability for DD(X) as well as a future growth path,' Young said.

No major changes

The Navy modified its deal with lead DD(X) contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. to change the radar. The move is not expected to affect the major milestones of the program, officials said.

Over the next three years, Northrop's Ship Systems sector and subcontractors Raytheon Co. and United Defense LP of Arlington, Va., will design, build and test about a dozen engineering models for the Navy's next-generation destroyer.

The Navy plans to award the construction contract for DD(X) in 2005, with delivery to take place in 2011, officials said.

During the design phase, contractors will include a layout for integrated combat systems and automated workstations so sailors will be able to connect with submarines, aircraft and satellites to collect information, Navy officials said.

In addition, DD(X) ships will have PCs with Internet connections in sailors' quarters.

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