Lockheed Martin Delivers Radar for E-2D AEW&C

Lockheed Martin Delivers Radar for E-2D AEW&C

AN/APY-9 production continues with new orders for E-2D from both the U.S. and foreign customers. Meanwhile, the U.S. is adding the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers to its fleet. France and Japan are the new customers, the former ordering the aircraft for the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the latest variant of the E-2 Hawkeye family of AEW&C aircraft, well-known for introducing AN/APY-9 radar.

AN/APY-9 is an AESA radar operating in the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) band. The radar retains mechanical scanning and reinforces it with electronic scanning. Operating in the UHF band allows the radar to detect low-observable aircraft at longer ranges, but a tracking performance enough to guide missiles remains a question. The question is yet to be answered, with the officials claiming that increased processing power can allow for a weapons-grade track.

AN/APY-9 can additionally guide the new SM-6 air defence missiles used on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, which are the main escorts of the carriers. This capability was demonstrated in a test where an SM-6 missile guided by AN/APY-9 radar in mid-course managed to intercept a sea-skimming target at long range.

 

FNSS