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Radars- Eyes for the Surface Fleet


RADAR, or RAdio Direction And Ranging, has been a key asset for the Navy since World War II. The principle of radar is based on the transmission, reflection, reception and processing of electro-magnetic energy (or radio waves).


The personnel of NSWC PHD work on two types of radar; fire control and surveillance. At the Port Hueneme site, the primary focus is on the fire control radars used in conjunction with gun and missile systems. The NSWC PHD Virginia Beach Detachment, Surveillance Radar Division, provides support for the In-Service surveillance radars of the fleet.


The Virginia Beach Detachment is responsible for surveillance radars that conduct air and horizon, or surface, searches. These systems can provide 2-dimensional (direction and range) or 3-dimensional (direction, range, and altitude) contact information to the shipboard operators. They also install new systems such as the SPS-73 navigation radar and major upgrades such as the SPS-49A(V)1 surveillance radar Medium PRF upgrade.


Recent initiatives by the Surveillance Radar Division personnel have included SPS-48E Distance Support (Remote Built-In Test), permitting engineers ashore to monitor the condition of the radar at sea and assist with troubleshooting faults, SPS-49 Solid State Modulator Upgrade, Multi-Function Radar/Volume Search Radar Development Support, SPS-67(V)5 Mid-Life COTS upgrade and BPS-15 Submarine Radar Voyage Management System integration in Virginia Class submarines.