The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) certified the latest evolution of the Aegis Combat System – called Baseline 9.C1 – for the U.S. destroyer fleet. The Aegis baseline, built by Lockheed Martin offers advanced defense capabilities and enhanced integration with other systems external to the ship.
«The Aegis Combat System Baseline 9.C1 offers unprecedented capabilities, including simultaneous air and ballistic missile defense», said Jim Sheridan, Lockheed Martin director of Aegis programs. «This Aegis baseline also improves Aegis networking capabilities, allowing Aegis vessels to automatically coordinate defense with input from satellite and ground-based radar assets – forming a true shield of defense over a wide area».
Baseline 9.C1, also includes the most current generation of ballistic missile defense programming, known as BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade, which offers the proven capability to shoot down ballistic missiles in both the exo-atmosphere (upper atmosphere) and endo-atmosphere (lower atmosphere). The BMD capabilities of Baseline 9.C1 are also present in Aegis Ashore, the ground-based missile defense program that is the second phase of the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach to protect Europe from ballistic missile attack.
Over the summer, the U.S. Navy and MDA conducted the Multi-Mission Warfare (MMW) tests to verify performance of recent BMD upgrades and are a critical part of the baseline certification process. Over the course of the four test events aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), Aegis flawlessly detected, tracked, and engaged two Ballistic Missile and two air warfare targets. Each event resulted in the successful intercept of a single target.
Aegis Baseline 9.C1 provides the U.S. Navy surface fleet with the most advanced air defense capability ever. Under this baseline configuration, Aegis merges BMD and anti-air warfare into its Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability using commercial-off-the-shelf and open architecture technologies.
The central component of the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis BMD Combat System is the SPY-1 radar, deployed on more than 100 ships worldwide – the most widely fielded naval phased array radar in the world. SPY-1 capability has been greatly enhanced with the introduction of a new Multi-Mission Signal Processor (MMSP). Baseline 9.C1 improves radar resolution and discrimination abilities.
As the Aegis Combat Systems Engineering Agent, Lockheed Martin leads the ongoing development of the weapon system for the U.S. Navy and MDA. Lockheed Martin pioneered the open-architecture software design of Aegis and each new program developed for Aegis becomes part of the Aegis Common Source Library, which allows the U.S. Navy and MDA to affordably and efficiently re-use and upgrade Aegis programing across a variety of defense platforms.