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AEGIS BMD System Tracks Separating Incoming Missiles

Aegis BMD control center Image credit: Lockheed Martin
by Staff Writers
Kauai HI (SPX) Jun 08, 2006
Lockheed Martin's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system, using a prototype signal processor, successfully tracked several advanced ballistic missile targets in separate tests off the coast of Hawaii in April, the company announced Tuesday.

LM developed the Aegis system and serves as the combat system engineering agent for the U.S. Navy's and Missile Defense Agency's Aegis program.

During both events, called critical measurements and countermeasures 2A and 2B, the Aegis AN/SPY-1B radar aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie - and augmented by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Signal Processor - provided real-time detection, tracking and discrimination performance against threat-representative targets, the company said in a statement.

The CMCM-2A and CMCM-2B tests are part of the MDA's Critical Measurements and Countermeasures Program - an integral part of the agency's test process - and provides participants with the opportunity to reduce technical risk by testing against stressing and complex target scenarios.

The MDA and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. Ultimately the system will outfit 15 Aegis destroyers and three Aegis cruisers with the capability to conduct long-range surveillance and tracking and engagement of short and medium range ballistic missile threats using the Aegis and the Standard Missile-3.

To date, 10 Aegis destroyers have been upgraded with the LRS&T capability and are certified for tactical deployment.

The Aegis BSP, which is in development and will be installed on Aegis BMD ships beginning in 2010, provides an advanced discrimination capability to defeat more complex ballistic missile threats. The Aegis BSP is an open architecture design, allowing for quick and affordable upgrades as the signal processor technology evolves.

The move to open architecture for Aegis BMD is in parallel and aligned with the U.S. Navy's Aegis Open Architecture initiative to transform the entire Aegis Weapon System beginning with the Cruiser Modernization Program now underway.

Aegis is considered the world's premier naval surface defense system, the LM statement said, and is the foundation for Aegis BMD, the primary component of the sea-based element of the U.S. BMD system.

Aegis integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, the SM-3 missile and the weapon system's command and control system. The system also integrates with the BMDS, receiving cues from and providing cueing information to other BMDS elements.

Aegis currently is deployed on 79 ships around the globe, with more than 30 additional ships planned or under contract. In addition to the U.S. military, Aegis is used by naval vessels in Japan, South Korea, Norway, Spain and Australia. Japan will begin installation of Aegis BMD in its Kongo class Aegis destroyers in 2007.

"Every test pushes the envelope and engages key players at all levels," said Joe Rappisi, Lockheed Martin's director for Aegis BMD, "from the sailors operating the ship to the Navy, MDA and industry engineers. In these tests, the developmental Aegis BSP demonstrated new discrimination capabilities that will protect our nation, allies and forces deployed around the world against more complex ballistic missiles."

Related Links
Lockheed Martin

Successful Test Flight for Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missiles
Tewksbury MA (SPX) Jun 07, 2006
Raytheon's Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM) destroyed two surrogate ballistic missile targets highlighting a successful test flight at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

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