AN/SPQ-9A, (sometimes pronounced as "spook nine"), is a United States Navy multi-purpose surface search & fire control radar used with the Mk-86 gun fire-control system (MK86 GFCS). It is a two dimensional surface-search radar, meaning it provides only range and bearing but not elevation. It is intended primarily to detect & track targets at sea level, on the surface of the water for either gun fire engagement or navigation. It can however, also detect and track low altitude (below 2000 ft) air targets.

The AN/SPQ-9 radome on USS Nicholson (DD-982)
Country of originUnited States
FrequencyI band (8-10 GHz)
Range150 yds (137 m) to 20 nm (37 km)
Power1.2 kW


Initially tested on the USS Norton Sound (AVM-1), it was also deployed on Spruance-class destroyers, Kidd-class destroyers, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Ticonderoga-class cruisers, Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships, Iowa-class battleships (at least 2 ships, late 1980s refit),[1] California-class cruisers, Virginia-class cruisers, and National Security Cutters of the United States Coast Guard. It was fitted to the German Navy's Lütjens-class destroyers as part of the Type 103B upgrade in the 1980s.[2]


The SPQ-9A is being replaced on all Ticonderoga Class cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class destroyer by the SPQ-9B, which provides twice the range and improved range resolution. This replacement is being done as a part of the United States Navy's Cruiser Modernization program to extend the life of the existing ships. The new SPQ-9B will be a part of the Mk-160 Mod 11 gun fire-control system (MK160 GFCS). The first operational evaluation of the SPQ-9B was on USS Oldendorf (DD-972) in October 2002. It is to be installed on CVN-68, LPD-17, CG-47, WMSL-750, LHD-1, and LHA-6 ship classes. The system is X-band and the antenna consists of dual planar arrays mounted back-to-back under a radome.[3] Flight III DDG-51 destroyers are also planned to have the SPQ-9B.[4]


  1. Polmar, Norman (2005). The Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet. Naval Institute Press. p. 130. ISBN 9781591146858.
  2. Sharpe, Richard (1995). Jane's Fighting Ships. London: Janes Information Group. p. 238. ISBN 9780710611611.
  3. "AN/SPQ-9B Radar Set". Public Domain US Navy Fact File. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  4. "Northrop Grumman to Supply AN/SPQ-9B Radars for Three U.S. Navy Vessels". Northrup Grumman Press Releases. Retrieved 2014-06-04.

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