Lockheed Martin and Navy Mark Another First with Aegis-Guided ESSM Missile Flight
MOORESTOWN, NJ, July 24th, 2002 -- For the first time at sea, the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis Weapon System successfully guided an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) from the Aegis guided missile destroyer USS Shoup operating in the Pacific test range off the coast of California. The test demonstrated the Aegis Weapon System's capability to launch and guide an ESSM to a successful intercept. The Aegis Weapon System provided S-band midcourse guidance to the ESSM missile through the SPY-1 radar system. The test, conducted by an operational U.S. Navy crew and sponsored by the NATO Sea Sparrow Project Office, followed earlier subsystem-validation tests conducted at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico during the past year. The test is a key risk-reduction step and begins a rigorous at-sea test trial period.
The ESSM missile, now being integrated into U.S. and international Aegis-class ships, will improve ship self-defense capability against advanced anti-ship cruise missiles.
"The success of today's test once again demonstrates the Aegis Weapon System's ability to evolve to meet emerging threats in addition to countering current threats," said Fred Moosally, president of the Surface Systems unit of Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS) in Moorestown, N.J. "Our transformational system continues to provide naval forces what they need to succeed in any environment. This is a key milestone demonstrating that the ESSM can be guided by the SPY-1 family of radar systems."
The Aegis Weapon System includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy's most advanced computer-controlled radar system. When paired with the Lockheed Martin-developed MK 41 Vertical Launch System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. The system can simultaneously track hundreds of targets while defending against multiple incoming aircraft, missiles, submarines, torpedoes and attacking ships and automatically implementing defenses to protect the fleet. Aegis is capable of countering the existing and emerging threats to a naval battle group, as well as striking inland targets.
The SPY-1 multi-function phased array radar, available worldwide to meet the mission needs for a range of ships from corvettes to aircraft carriers, provides U.S. and allied nations with the world's most advanced naval surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities.
The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on 67 Aegis-class ships on station around the globe, and 34 more ships are currently planned. In addition to the U.S. Navy, Aegis has been approved for sale to Japan, Spain, and Norway.