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US Navy awards contract for next-gen shipboard air traffic radar

US Navy awards contract for next-gen shipboard air traffic radar

The US Navy has awarded a $25 million contract to Saab to provide two AN/SPN-50(V)1 shipboard air traffic radars and one installation and checkout kit. 

The US Navy has awarded a $25 million contract to Saab to provide two AN/SPN-50(V)1 shipboard air traffic radars and one installation and checkout kit. 

The new fixed-price incentive fee contract is a sole-source procurement with the first AN/SPN-50(V)1 scheduled for delivery in September 2021. The system will replace the Navy’s current radar system, AN/SPN-43C, on Nimitz Class aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships in fiscal 2021 time frame.

Captain Kevin Watkins, Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213) program manager, explained, “SPN-50 brings new capability for the warfighter, allowing aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships to operate in any current and future environment.” 

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Some of the improvements the new digital radar system and modern radar processing bring are improved target detection and tracking in the presence of competing clutter as well as addressing increased spectrum constraints currently experienced with AN/SPN-43C and other legacy radar systems.

“The SPN-43C has been in service since the mid-1960s, and while it has been updated along the way to fight and win today, the performance and technology updates SPN-50 brings will ensure the Navy and Marine Corps has a relevant, sustainable capability to fight and win in the future,” CAPT Watkins added. 

AN/SPN-50(V)1 was demonstrated for the first time in October 2019 at Naval Air Warfare Centre Aircraft Division Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and has since executed numerous test and evaluation events at different locations during the engineering and manufacturing phase.

The two AN/SPN-50(V)1s are scheduled to be installed on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), for operational testing, and on the future amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA-8), which is currently being built.

AN/SPN-50(V)1 is scheduled to reach initial operating capability in late 2022. Twenty-five AN/SPN-50 shipboard air traffic radars are scheduled to be procured through fiscal 2028.

Stephen Kuper

Stephen Kuper

Steve has an extensive career across government, defence industry and advocacy, having previously worked for cabinet ministers at both Federal and State levels.

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