Lights, Camera, Aegis!

Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Combat System helps defend Earth in new
‘Battleship’ movie



The Aegis-class USS John Paul Jones played a major role in the new “Battleship” movie. In addition to the Aegis system, other Lockheed Martin products appearing in the film included the MK 41 Vertical Launching System and the SPY-1 radar.

While Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker receive top billing, the real star of the new science fiction action naval war film “Battleship” is the U.S. Navy.

And Lockheed Martin also plays a supporting role.

In the film based on the 45-year-old game of the same name, “the battle for earth begins at sea,” and three Aegis class ships – the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and USS Sampson (DDG 102) and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Myōkō (DDG 175) – play prominent roles.

"It was unbelievable," said director Peter Berg of the access "Battleship" earned him in a May 18 article in The Times Picayune. "Got to go on Aegis-class destroyers -- they're about 600 feet, and I can't tell you how many thousands of tons they weigh… they're just technological marvels. To be able to film on those with the real ships and the real sailors was quite a thrill."

Part of the movie was filmed in the John Paul Jones’ Combat Information Center – the ship’s tactical center which serves as the brains of Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Combat System. The world’s premier naval surface defense system, Aegis can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines, surface ships and alien invaders, at least according to the movie, while automatically implementing defenses to protect the fleet against aircraft and missiles.

Aegis integrates nearly two dozen systems, including Lockheed Martin’s SPY-1 radar and MK 41 Vertical Launching System – both of which are seen in the film.

In addition to Japan, the navies of Australia, Norway, the Republic of Korea and Spain also use Aegis. The 100 Aegis-equipped ships in service around the globe have more than 1,250 years of at-sea operational experience and have launched more than 3,800 missiles in tests and real-world operations.

Some of the filming was done during the RIMPAC 2010 naval exercise, and Berg used active duty and retired Navy personnel to add realism to the film. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus even makes an appearance as the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Posted May 24, 2012