Navy’s Next Destroyer to Increase Radar’s Capability (in terms of S/N) by a Factor of about Thirty. (January 30, 2013)

The U.S. Navy has apparently decided that to go with the +15 option (that is, a factor of 32 improvement in signal-to-noise) in the S-band part of the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) on its planned new Aegis destroyers, according to its DDG-51 Shipbuilding program manager, Navy Captain Mark Vandroff.   Speaking at a Surface Navy Association’s event on January 15, Vandroff stated that “What we’ve locked is the AMDR at SPY [radar] plus 15 decibels” for the new ships.[1]  Under current plans, the first of the new ships, designated DDG-51 Flight IIIs, would be procured in FY 2016 and would achieve an initial operational capability in 2023.


Figure source:  Capt. Vandroff’s Powerpoint slides, available at:


Missile Defense Agency Conducts First GMD Flight Test in Two Years: Crucial CTV-01 Test Described as a Success. (January 27, 2013)

The Missile Defense Agency announced yesterday that it had conducted the first flight test of a GBI interceptor since its failed FTG-06a intercept test in December 2010.

The test, labeled CTV-01, did not involve a target, and thus no actual intercept was attempted.   Instead the kill vehicle carried out a series of pre-planned maneuvers in order to validate the identification of the problem that caused the failure of the December 2010 test.  MDA officials announced that preliminary indications were that the test had been successful, with all components performing as designed.  If so, the test would represent a crucial step in towards recovering from the FTG-06 and FTG-06a failures, which have delayed the testing program by at least three years.


The launch of the GBI Interceptor, January 26, 2012.  (photograph from