The latest iteration of the Aegis configuration for destroyers, called Baseline 9.C1, also includes the most current generation of ballistic missile defense programming, known as BMD 5.0 CU. The MMW events were designed to verify performance of recent BMD upgrades. Over the course of the four MMW events, 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.
This test series also marks the first endo-atmospheric (lower atmosphere) engagement of a Ballistic Missile target to demonstrate a Baseline 9.C1 capability. This capability allows Aegis to engage ballistic missiles in their terminal phase—as they re-enter the endo-atmosphere—which is the last opportunity to intercept the warhead before it reaches its target.
“Each generation of the Aegis Combat System adds new capabilities to keep pace with emerging threats, and these tests were really designed to demonstrate the compatibility of new BMD capabilities with the entire system,” said Paul Klammer, Lockheed Martin’s Director of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program.
Aegis Baseline 9 provides the U.S. Navy surface fleet with the most advanced air defense capability ever. Under the Baseline 9 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). Together, the Aegis system, MMSP and SPY-1 radar provide the U.S. and allied nations with advanced surveillance and an unprecedented IAMD capability.
As Aegis Combat Systems Engineering Agent, Lockheed Martin leads the ongoing development of the weapon system for the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency. 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 Missile Defense Agency to affordably and efficiently re-use and upgrade Aegis programing across a variety of defense platforms.