LOCKHEED MARTIN COMPLETES TESTING OF AEGIS BMD INITIAL ENGAGEMENT CAPABILITY
MOORESTOWN, NJ, 10-JAN-05 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) successfully completed land-based testing of the first deployable Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) engagement capability. This marks a significant milestone toward an initial, sea-based capability to defend the United States, deployed forces and allies from the threat of short- and medium-range ballistic missile attack.
The testing of Aegis BMD initial engagement capability, which focused on integrating the ballistic missile intercept mission with the long-range surveillance and tracking capability fielded in September 2004, was conducted at the Combat System Engineering Development Site in Moorestown, NJ. Spanning several months, the testing culminated in December with an Engineering Assessment (EA) showing the effectiveness of equipment and software modifications to the Aegis Combat System supporting the Aegis BMD engagement capability. Two Aegis cruisers will be outfitted with this capability during the next year. These ships will be used for BMD system testing. However, they could be deployed, if directed, in response to a national security crisis prior to completion of full deployment engagement capability testing in 2006.
The Aegis Combat System – in particular its SPY-1 radar, associated command, control, and communication systems, weapons control system, and its Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) – will provide the capability to detect, track, characterize and engage short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
The U.S. Navy and MDA are jointly developing Aegis BMD as part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). The MDA and the U.S. Navy will ultimately outfit 15 Aegis destroyers and three Aegis cruisers with the capability to engage ballistic missiles with an SM-3.
The Aegis Weapon System is the world’s premier naval surface defense system and the sea-based element of the BMDS. Aegis is currently deployed on 68 U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers on station around the globe, with 18 more ships currently planned. Aegis is also the primary weapon system on the Japanese Kongo-class destroyers, it is part of two European ship construction programs – the Spanish F-100 and the Norwegian New Frigate, and the Republic of Korea is now building three Aegis-equipped destroyers. Recently, Australia selected the Aegis Weapon System for its Air Warfare Destroyer program.
Lockheed Martin is a world leader in systems integration and the development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, including the first operational hit-to-kill missile defense system. It also has considerable experience in interceptor systems, kill vehicles, battle management command, control and communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, as well as radar and other sensors that enable signal processing and data fusion. The company makes significant contributions to all 10 major U.S. Missile Defense Systems and participates in several global missile defense partnerships. Lockheed Martin Corporation is headquartered in Bethesda, MD.