The US Navy’s Lockheed Martin-built Aegis Combat System has successfully completed its first integrated air and missile defence test at the Navy’s Vice Admiral James Doyle Combat Systems Engineering Development Site in New Jersey, US.
During the test, the Aegis system successfully demonstrated its simultaneous anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defence capabilities and verified the latest upgrade to the system, known as Baseline 9.
The Baseline 9 upgrade provides integrated air and missile defence capability to engage multiple threats simultaneously for the US Navy fleet.
Jim Sheridan, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors business Aegis Baseline 9 programmes director, said: "This test is the culmination of two years of hard work by our Lockheed Martin engineers and marks the start of a new era where the Navy no longer has to choose between air or missile defence capabilities for any given mission."
As part of the test, the Aegis system also used the multi-mission signal processor (MMSP) for the first time in a real-world scenario, where usually the system is jammed by external aircraft.
Capable of integrating the next-generation Aegis ballistic missile defence (BMD) and anti-air warfare capabilities in an open combat system architecture, the scalable and easily upgradeable MMSP serves as a supplement to the Navy’s Baseline 9 system.
Designed to defend against airborne threats, the Aegis weapon system is a surface-to-air integrated weapons platform and is used by the navy as a tactical radar defence and fire-control system.
Work under the programme will be carried out in New Jersey, US.
Some 27 Aegis BMD-equipped ships are currently available for operational deployment, of which 23 belong to US Navy and four are Japanese destroyers.
Image: USS Lake Erie uses the second generation Aegis BMD system to destroy a short range ballistic missile target. Photo: courtesy of NAVAIR.