The U.S. Navy and global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin have come up with an affordability approach that cuts costs of all phases of the recently-awarded contract for Aegis weapons systems, including production, integration and test.
The $574 million contract stipulates the production of seven destroyers (DDGs 117-123) and an option for one Aegis Ashore assembly. The systems will operate the next generation integrated air and missile defense capability, Aegis Baseline 9, at their core.
“Four decades ago, the Aegis program was born at our facility in Moorestown – and today it has evolved into a national asset, both at sea and on shore,” said Dale P. Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “This contract represents the partnership and innovation of our joint government/industry team who are bringing the future of Aegis to the warfighter in an affordable and sustainable way.”
The central component of the Aegis weapons system is the SPY-1 radar, which is deployed on more than 100 ships worldwide.
The additional Aegis Ashore assembly, an evolution of proven sea-based Aegis BMD capabilities, will be built as part of the administration’s European Phased Adaptive approach and deployed to Poland, the second Host Nation participating in the missile defense strategy. The Aegis Ashore system to be deployed to Romania, the first Host Nation, recently entered its operational readiness stage in Moorestown, N.J., while the Aegis Ashore system at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii is preparing for its first live test next year.
Lockheed Martin’s Aegis BMD intercepted the most sophisticated target ever last September amid a demonstration test when the second generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System proved its capability to engage a sophisticated, separating short range ballistic missile target with two Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missiles that were fired and guided to intercept nearly simultaneously.
Naval Today Staff, January 08, 2014; Image: Lockheed Martin