Navy asks Raytheon for technology upgrades to Aegis combat systems aboard Navy and allied destroyers

Feb. 22, 2024
Aegis combat system uses powerful computers and radar to track and guide weapons at enemy targets; more than 100 Aegis-equipped ships are deployed.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts are asking Raytheon Technologies Corp. (RTX) to provide kits to upgrade the Aegis combat system aboard U.S. Navy, Japan, and Australia guided missile destroyer surface warships.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $38.2 million four-year order Tuesday to the RTX Raytheon segment in Marlborough, Mass., for Aegis modernization kits for Navy and allied destroyers.

This order is part of the Aegis Modernization (AMOD) program to upgrade Aegis combat systems through the Advanced Capability Build (ACB) process.

The Aegis combat system uses powerful computers and radar to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets. More than 100 Aegis-equipped ships have been deployed in five navies worldwide. Aegis, not an acronym, refers to the shield of the mythical Greek God Zeus.

Related: Lockheed Martin to upgrade shipboard electronics in Aegis combat system aboard Navy Burke-class destroyers

Aegis, developed in the 1980s, integrates the AN/SPY-1 radar, MK 99 fire control system, weapons control, the command and decision suite, and SM-2 Standard missile family, which includes the basic RIM-66 Standard, the RIM-67 extended range missile, and the newer RIM-161 designed to counter ballistic missiles.

Aegis technology upgrades involve the Aegis multimission signal processor that enables Burke-class destroyers to switch between their missile-and air-defense roles. The Aegis prime contractor is Lockheed Martin Corp., and Raytheon is a major subcontractor.

This new software and hardware is part of the future AN/SPY-6 radar, which uses X- and S-band radio frequencies to track long-range exoatmospheric ballistic targets simultaneously with close-range air and surface threats. Aegis ACB-20 also integrates the SM-6 and Evolved Sea Sparrow Block II missiles for air defense and terminal ballistic missile defense.

Related: Raytheon to upgrade shipboard computers, networking, and combat systems aboard Zumwalt-class destroyers

Previous Aegis upgrades integrated additional capabilities into the Aegis weapon system, such as ballistic missile defense (BMD) 5.1, which integrates a 21-inch-diameter variant of the SM-3 missile called the SM-3 Block IIA. BMD 5.1 also will improve Aegis data links to enable engage on remote track data.

Upgrades also have integrated the SPQ-9B surface search & fire control radar into the Aegis weapon system. The SPQ-9B detects and tracks incoming targets at sea level, on the surface of the water for either gun fire engagement or navigation.

Aegis upgrades also have integrated the Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter into the Aegis system, as well as improving the system's electronic warfare (EW) capabilities via the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP).

Related: U.S. Navy ships out on future force and digital transformation

Aegis upgrades also have expanded the system's tactical data link (TDL) capability with Link 22 for improved interoperability, and improve shipboard training capability through Total Ship Training Capability (TSTC).

Work also involved installing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS computers to enhance warfighting capabilities such as simultaneous anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense.

On this contract modification Raytheon will do the work in Andover, Burlington, and Marlborough, Mass.; and Chesapeake, Va., and should be finished by February 2028. For more information contact RTX Raytheon online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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