Lockheed Martin has started testing and integration of its Aegis combat system into the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first Aegis-equipped air warfare destroyer (AWD), Hobart.

The company has assigned a team of engineers and technicians from Australia and the US to assist in the testing to ensure proper integration and functionality.

The destroyers will be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapon System, including the SPY-1D(V) radar.

“This milestone is a significant step towards an increase in the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime security capabilities.”

Aegis, when integrated with the MK41 vertical launching system (VLS) will be capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat scenario in naval warfare.

The RAN has been provided with the Lockheed Martin Aegis Baseline 8 configuration, which integrates commercial-off-the-shelf technology and open architecture into the combat system.

RAN programme manager air warfare destroyer commodore Craig Bourke said: "This milestone is a significant step towards an increase in the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime security capabilities through the seamless integration of the Aegis combat system to defend against advanced air, surface and subsurface threats.

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"With more than 100 Aegis-equipped ships deployed worldwide, Australia is joining a family of allied nations that continues to push the boundaries of innovation with adaptable and affordable capabilities that meet the warfighter’s multi-mission needs."

The Hobart-class destroyers are a part of Australia’s SEA 4000 programme, which will deliver three advanced multirole ships and will be the country’s first naval ships to be equipped with Aegis weapon system.

The vessels are based on the Navantia-designed F100 frigate, which is in service with the Spanish Navy.

The Hobart-class vessels will provide air defence for vessels, land-based forces and infrastructure in coastal lines. They will be capable of defending and destroying missiles and aircraft within a range of 150km.

Lockheed Martin’s Aegis combat systems are also being used by across five navies including the US and allies.

Image: Lockheed Martin Integrated Test Team starts Aegis Combat System integration and testing. Photo: courtesy of Australian Defence.