Lockheed Martin to sustain surface warship combat systems that integrate radar, infrared, and other sensors

May 8, 2023
COMBATSS-21 warship combat system is for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; mine warfare; special operations; and maritime interdiction.

WASHINGTON – Surface warship experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will upgrade and sustain mission and combat systems electronics for the U.S. Navy littoral combat ship under terms of a $100.7 million order announced last month.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Moorestown, N.J., to sustain the littoral combat ship's COMBATSS-21, which is based on the larger Aegis combat system for U.S. Navy destroyers and cruisers.

Initially developed for the Freedom-class littoral combat ship, COMBATSS-21 is the backbone of the ship’s mission system and integrates sensors such as radar and infrared cameras, as well as gun fire-control system, countermeasures, and short-range anti-air missiles.

Lockheed Martin is developing COMBATSS-21 as a scalable surface warship combat system for anti-terrorism; force protection; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; mine warfare; homeland defense; special operations; and maritime interdiction and interception.

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

U.S. Navy leaders also are basing the shipboard sensors and combat management system for the future Constellation-class guided missile frigate on the COMBATSS-21, which is built on an open-architecture scalable framework using non-developmental software. The Constellation-class frigate formerly was known as FFG(X).

The Constellation class describes a future class of multi-mission guided-missile frigates that will be a follow-on to the modular littoral combat ship. The Navy announced a $795.1 million contract last year to Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wis., to design and build the Constellation-class vessels.

Frigates are relatively small, light, and fast surface warships that protect the powerful capital ships, and provide escort protection and help with command and control for lightly armed naval surface warships, as well as to commercial or military merchant ships.

The COMBATSS-21 architecture isolates shipboard sensors, communications, and weapons from core components of the command and control system to avoid large system bugs and speed software certification.

Related: Army relies on radar, counter-fire, and signal processing for active protection in armored combat vehicles

COMBATSS-21 can run on computer configurations ranging from one commercial processor running a commercial operating system to more distributed configurations, making the COMBATSS-21 system adaptable to vessels ranging from patrol craft to large-deck ships, Lockheed Martin officials say.

The Lockheed Martin COMBATSS-21 combat management system borrows technology from Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers, as well as from the U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater program.

On this order Lockheed Martin will do the work in Moorestown and Camden, N.J.; Virginia Beach and Manassas, Va.; Deer Creek, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; and other locations, and should be finished by April 2024.

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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