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LM Completes Testing On Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Upgrade

In addition to the U.S., Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway and Spain.
by Staff Writers
Moorestown NJ (SPX) Apr 06, 2006
Lockheed Martin has announced the successful completion of land-based testing for the next enhancement to the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System. Completion of this testing is a key milestone to provide tactically certified capability to engage short and medium range ballistic missiles on all Aegis BMD ships.

The upgraded Weapon System enhances the ballistic missile defense capabilities of the current Aegis BMD fleet, adds capability in other warfare areas and brings the BMD mission to additional destroyers and cruisers. Aegis BMD has been operational since September 2004 providing Long Range Surveillance and Tracking (LRSandT) for the initial Limited Defensive Capability of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), and providing an initial emergency capability to engage short and medium range ballistic missiles since early 2005.

The testing was conducted in late February at the Navy's Combat System Engineering Development Site in Moorestown with Navy personnel operating the system. Testing verified that the system met all engagement, LRSandT, and multi-warfare mission requirements, using simulated interfaces with ground-based midcourse and other elements of the BMDS.

"The ability to continually enhance and field capabilities for Aegis BMD is a hallmark of the Aegis program: it always paces the threat," said Orlando Carvalho, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Surface-SBMD line of business. "As this test demonstrated through the participation of our local U.S. Navy Aegis technical representative, the sailors who will operate the Aegis Combat System play a key part in its assessment before the systems are fielded."

The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the BMDS. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and combat system engineering agent for the Aegis Combat System and Aegis BMD Weapon System.

Ultimately 15 U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers and three Aegis cruisers will be outfitted with the capability to engage short to medium range ballistic missile threats and to conduct LRSandT.

The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis BMD, the primary component of the sea-based element of the BMDS. Aegis BMD seamlessly integrates new capabilities of the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System and adds the SM-3 missile into the existing Aegis Weapon System's command and control system. Aegis BMD also is integrated with BMDS, receiving cues from and providing cueing information to other BMDS elements.

The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on more than 77 ships around the globe with more than 25 additional ships planned or under contract. In addition to the U.S., Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway and Spain.

Related Links
Lockheed Martin

BMD Dreams And Realities
Washington (UPI) Mar 31, 2006
The Israelite slaves in the Book of Exodus were commanded to do the impossible -- make bricks without straw. The challenge of creating the world's most advanced ballistic missile defense systems without enough scientists and engineers to make and maintain them could make that challenge look easy.

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