The US Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has certified the new Aegis Combat System Baseline 9.C1 to be incorporated in the US destroyer fleet.
Built by Lockheed Martin, the latest Aegis Baseline offers advanced defence capabilities, and integration with other systems external to the ship.
Lockheed Martin Aegis programmes director Jim Sheridan said: "The Aegis Combat System Baseline 9.C1 offers unprecedented capabilities, including simultaneous air and ballistic missile defence.
"This Aegis baseline also improves Aegis networking capabilities, allowing Aegis vessels to automatically coordinate defence with input from satellite and ground-based radar assets, forming a true shield of defence over a wide area."
The new technology is equipped with an updated generation of ballistic missile defence programming, known as BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade, which can shoot down ballistic missiles both from the lower and upper atmosphere.
It is fitted with the SPY-1 radar, deployed on more than 100 ships across the world. The feature is enhanced with the introduction of a new multi-mission signal processor (MMSP).
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Aegis integrates BMD and anti-air warfare into its Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability using commercial-off-the-shelf and open architecture technologies.
Baseline 9.C1 offers improved radar resolution and discrimination abilities, hence strengthening the air defence capability of the US Navy surface fleet.
The BMD capabilities of Baseline 9.C1 in the ground based missile programme, Aegis Ashore, serves as the US-led adaptive approach to shield Europe from ballistic missile attack.
The US Navy and MDA had conducted the Multi-Mission Warfare (MMW) tests last year to measure functionality of the recent BMD upgrades which was a critical part of the baseline certification process.
The test conducted onboard USS John Paul Jones, reportedly saw the Aegis combat system’s successful detection, tracking and termination of two ballistic missiles and two air warfare targets.
In September, Lockheed Martin was awarded a ten-year contract, worth $428m, to modernise Aegis hardware and software onboard the US Navy vessels.
Image: The USS John Finn. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo.