The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $490 million contract to equip additional Japanese, Republic of Korea and U.S. Navy destroyers with the integrated AEGIS air and missile defense (IAMD) capabilities.
According to Lockheed Martin, the ships will be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9, the latest evolution of the combat system, capable of IAMD.
The Aegis system includes Lockheed Martin’s SPY-1 radar which, when paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare.
This contract comes on the heels of a successful joint-missile defense exercise in June in which Aegis destroyers from the three nations shared data while detecting and tracking a simulated missile threat.
LM has already provided four of Japan’s Kongo-class destroyers and two Atago-class destroyers with sea, air and undersea threat detection capabilities and will now provide the next two Atago-class destroyers with the AEGIS ship set.
Three of Republic of Korea Navy’s new KDX-III (Korean Destroyer eXperimental) or Sejong the Great-class destroyers are also to be equipped with the air and missile defense system under the latest contract. Korea already has three KDX-III destroyers operating with the AEGIS: RoK Sejong the Great, RoK Yulgok Yi I and RoK Seoae Ryu Sungryong.
Korean destroyers are also the largest surface warfare ships to carry the Aegis.
“Lockheed Martin has a proud record of working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces and the Republic of Korea Navy,” said Jim Sheridan, director of Lockheed Martin Aegis U.S. Navy programs. “We will continue the Lockheed Martin tradition of providing Aegis on-time and on-budget so these destroyers are prepared to meet the evolving demands of securing the U.S. homeland and its allies.”