kit wrote:SAMPSON on board the RN is currently one of the most capable, with RN crowing about its prowess as better than the AEGIS.
They are not even in the same league. AEGIS is a combat system and not a a radar. In its currently deployed baseline (9+) it is the only system in the world, currently deployed, that can concurrently do both the BMD mission and the AAW mission with the former including exoatmospheric intercepts and engagement of targets on remote and the latter including Over The Horizon intercepts of air breathing targets.
The higher mount advantage of the SAMPSON is somewhat negated by the fact that most AEGIS vessels at the current, prior, or future baseline, have a dedicated higher frequency sensor (X-band sensor) mounted higher up which is dedicated to low sea-skimming targets and filling the blind spot which a lack of additional altitude for the SPY-X may have provide (but to do that SPY-X would have to shrink in size to be mounted that high). A US and Japan collaboration is currently developing a GaN AESA (X-band) that will become the Next Gen. FXR for the US Navy and Japanese vessels with both a rotator, and a fixed array set up planned depending upon the space, weight and power for backfit on ships that currently utilize the SPQ-9 and forward fit on new destroyers and cruisers built in the future. Both the Toyota (US/Aus DDG) and Lexus (Japanese DDG) variants of the AEGIS destroyers will have these backfitted or forward fitted.
AN/SPQ-9B is an X-Band, pulse Doppler, frequency agile radar which was designed specifically for the littoral environment. It has a very high clutter improvement factor supporting a very low false track rate in the littorals and in high clutter environments.
The AN/SPQ-9B scans out to the horizon and performs simultaneous and automatic air and surface target detection and tracking of low flying Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs), surface threats and low/slow flying aircraft, UAVs and helicopters.
With AN/SPY-6, and AN/SPY-7 and baseline 10 and beyond, AEGIS will put a further gap between it and pretty much anything else out there. As a combat system, sensor, and shooter combination it tackles everything from exoatmospheric EOR thousands of km's away, to AAW/CMD at targets ranging from 8 km to 350+ km using dedicated interceptors for very short, short, medium and extended range (and OTH) target interception and Ballistic Missile Defense (Exo, and Sea Based Terminal). It is also the only combat system on any naval ship that has a dedicated High Energy Laser integrated into it. 2 DDG-51 ships with a DEW will be delivered this year with a system fully integrated into the combat-system (as opposed to a patched up HEL application on the USS Ponce many years ago).
kit wrote:Besides with the tech progressing at the rate as it is in half a decade, it will be surpassed by AEGIS and SPY 6 radars coming to Australias Hobart destroyers.
Australia is not getting the AN/SPY-6. So far, only the SPY-7 has been exported for AEGIS and non AEGIS applications. Raytheon has to supply dozens of ships (SPY-6 variants will be on 7 ship classes including destroyers, frigates, aircraft-carriers, and amphibs) and with the backfit it could add 20 additional ships as well. Depending upon their production capacity they may not have a lot of room to accommodate export schedules in the near-medium. AN/SPY-7 probably has more wiggle room there and it just about as capable.
The mounting and size of the radar is determined by the demand from the sensor. AEGIS demands are extensive and the sensitivity, and the ability to electronically steer to meet everything from SSA to sea-skimming threats requires a large aperture. Same with mean and peak power. As I mentioned, it is the only combat system that demands as much depth and breadth of capability from its sensor(s). For this you need large radars. In return, those large radars can't be mounted as high so height takes a back seat to overall radar performance with the gap being filled by supplementary systems. The SPY-6 (V) 1 is a fairly large radar but it is still a compromise due to Flight III DDG-51 SWaP restrictions. At 14 ft. it is still the largest such type radar mounted on a naval vessel though the DDG-1000 can accommodate an 18 ft. variant (which it currently does not have). There is a 34 foot SPY-6 variant mocked up on a potential Large Cruiser/Combatant proposed by Huntington Ingalls. That is a reflection on the sort of raid sizes they are looking at for the future in an integrated - Ballistic/Hypersonic - supersonic - and subsonic attack on the defended area (numerous ships). SAMPSON and the UK and rest of European Frigates and Destroyers are just not geared to handle such missions and raid scenarios. The best performing assets that have demonstrated good capability in the IAMD aspect has been the SMART-L sensor in helping AEGIS track Ballistic Missiles at range. But even that is not a disriminating sensor so requires some other sensor to do that portion of the mission.