The US Navy’s Ticonderoga Class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70) has been equipped with latest Aegis ballistic missile defence (BMD) system from Lockheed Martin,

The new BMD system on the cruiser includes a new ballistic missile defence signal processor, Aegis BSP.

The navy is expected to get the full certification of the system upgrade by 2011 following a series of tests on the ship in 2010.

The newly integrated Aegis BSP processor on the system enhances the ability to detect, track and target complex ballistic missiles and their associated moves.

The upgrade, Aegis BMD 4.0.1 system, also incorporates the new Standard missile-3 block IB missile in late 2010.

Lockheed Martin surface / sea-based missile defence sector vice president and general manager Orlando Carvalho said that the signal processor was a major technical advance for Aegis BMD before it merges with the navy’s Aegis modernisation programme’s fully open architecture, multi-mission combat system.

The Aegis weapon system’s SPY-1 radar and integrated command and controls system consistently guides the interceptor and uplinks target track information to the missile for terminal homing.