The Lockheed-Martin Corporation announced that it has successfully completed the
land-based testing of the first deployable Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)
long range surveillance and tracking capability.
Aegis BMD is a part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) being
developed by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in cooperation with the US Navy to
protect the United States and the allied nations from a long range ballistic
The target data information required by the BMDS is provided from the SPY-1
radar system and its associated command, control and communications systems. The
BMDS Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) system
supports the incoming ballistic missile interception operation and provides
situational awareness to the ship's commander. The data generated by the Aegis
BMD can be fed into the Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) providing
additional threat information in support of ground-based interceptors launch.
The land-based test, conducted at the US Navy Combat System Engineering
Development Site, used simulated interfaces to connect with the C2BMC and GMD
systems. Verification of the Aegis system compatibility with the two systems is
required in order to install the Aegis BMD in US Navy's DDG51-class destroyers.
The US Navy and the MDA will ultimately outfit 15 DDG51-class destroyers and
three Ticonderoga-class cruisers with the Aegis BMD long range surveillance and
tracking capability. Nevertheless, only Ticonderoga-class cruisers will be
equipped with the capability to engage long range ballistic missiles with the
Standard Missile 3 (SM-3). This measure is a leap forward to field an initial,
credible ballistic missile defense capability in 2004-2005.
The Aegis weapon system is the primary anti-air warfare system installed on 69
US Navy destroyers and cruisers, with 20 more ships on the way. Japan selected
the Aegis weapon system for its Kongo-class destroyers, Spain F100, Norway F310,
Korea KDXIII, and, recently, Australia selected the Aegis system for its air
warfare destroyer program.
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