The US Navy awarded a US$29 million deal to Lockheed Martin’s Rotary Mission Systems (RMS) to provide a suite of technology and capability improvements to the Baseline 9 Aegis combat system.
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The US Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command and Lockheed Martin will partner to provide technological upgrades, capability development and improvements, target recognition development, and radar engineering services for the Baseline 9 variant of the Aegis combat system, to be completed by July 2019.
Centred around the AN/SPY-1 radar, Aegis is a fully integrated combat system, providing full 360-degree, 3D tracking capacity, Aegis is capable of simultaneously defending against attack from land targets, submarines and surface ships while automatically protecting the fleet against aircraft cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
This integrated combat system serves to establish Aegis as a central component of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) providing robust anti-air warfare (AAW) capabilities, with ballistic missile defence capabilities.
Baseline 9 is the current variant of the Aegis system and incorporates the ability to meet new threats, execute new missions and integrate technology. The Aegis combat system is the only maritime ballistic defence system capable of simultaneously attacking land targets, submarines and surface ships while protecting the fleet against aircraft, cruise and other ballistic missiles.
The Baseline 9 system also forms the core of the US$1.7 billion investment plan to purchase 43 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence Systems as outlined in the 2019FY Defence budget.
Australia's first Aegis capable warships, the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers, have paved the way for the system to be integrated into the Royal Australian Navy, with Aegis announced as the combat system for the Hunter Class in conjunction with the Australian designed CEAFAR phased array radar system and a uniquely Australian interface supplied by Saab Australia.
This growing global fleet provides Australian industry with the opportunity to integrate and participate with the global supply chain, while also enhancing the operational understanding, integration and combat capabilities of the system to augment Australian and allied operation of the platform.
Above, on or below the surface, Aegis is a complete multi-mission combat system and is currently successfully integrated across 107 ships and nine classes for six nations, including the US, Japan, Australia the Republic of Korea, Spain and Norway.
As Australia continues to transition the ADF to an integrated force whereby key, fifth-generation force multipliers like the F-35, the E-7A Wedgetail, P-8A Poseidon, the future submarines and key land warfare platforms, including Boxer, Aegis will serve as a critical element of Australia’s existing and future networked and integrated battlespace.