Lockheed Martin to build shipboard Aegis air defense and radar systems for Navy cruisers and destroyers

March 30, 2022
Aegis combat system uses powerful computers, digital signal processing, anti-air missiles, and radar to track and guide weapons toward enemy targets.

WASHINGTON – Shipboard electronics experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will build and deliver Aegis combat systems for U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers under terms of a $92.5 million order announced Monday.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Moorestown, N.J., for the design, development, integration, test, and delivery of Aegis Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 20.

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.

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.

Related: Saab to build shipboard air traffic control radar

The Aegis air defense system was developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, which after a series of acquisitions became part of Lockheed Martin in 1995.

Lockheed Martin engineers are installing 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.

Lockheed Martin's work also integrates 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.

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

Related: Raytheon to upgrade MK 15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) radar-guided air-defense guns for surface warships

Lockheed Martin experts also will expand the Tactical Data Link (TDL) capability with Link 22 on the Aegis system for improved interoperability, and improve shipboard training capability through Total Ship Training Capability (TSTC).

Previous Aegis upgrades installed commercial off-the-shelf (COTS computers to enhance warfighting capabilities such as simultaneous anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense.

On this contract modification Lockheed Martin will do the work in Moorestown, N.J., and should be finished by December 2022. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems online at www.lockheedmartin.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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