On January 16, 2023, Future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (Landing Platform Dock LPD-29) successfully installed a new SPY-6(V)2 Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar antenna also known as EASR. Future USS Richard M. McCool Jr is a "transitional ship" between the current San Antonio-class Flight I design, and future Flight II vessels, intended to be the test subject of the Spy-6(V)2 EASR.
The new installation of the Spy-6(V)2 provides the U.S. Navy with hardware and software variant commonality in aircraft carrier and amphibious assault ships. The radar contributes to a variety of incremental technology enhancements such as improved engagement capabilities, precise date and target information, and improved ship self-defense against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, hostile aircraft, and surface ships simultaneously. Its main feature consists of greater detection range, increased sensitivity, and more accurate discrimination.
The U.S Naval Sea Systems Command and Program Executive Office (PEO) stated that USS Richard M. McCool Jr. is the first vessel class to install and activate S-band, rotating radar variant and with its successfully implementation will allow the process of future installations of EASR systems for LPD 17-class ships. “The progress made is a testament to the collaboration across multiple organizations in bringing this next-generation radar to the LPD program. The Navy and our industry partners look forward to systems activation and testing as LPD 29 continues the path to sea trials later this year,” “Ultimately, EASR will be made ready as an integral sensor in an integrated Ship Self-Defense System to support the ship’s employment,"stated Capt. Cedric J. McNeal, Amphibious Warfare Program Manager, PEO Ships.
PEO Ships is one of the Department of Defense acquisition organization mainly responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.