The Aegis Weapon System is built on 50 years of constant evolution and innovation. Its flexible architecture enables it to fulfill missions never envisioned at the start of the program. Aegis’ Chief Architect, Rear Admiral Wayne Meyer, instilled an engineering discipline that still guides the program to this day. His mantra, “build a little, test a little, learn a lot,” still holds true in our development processes – a testament to why it’s the most trusted combat system deployed around the world.
Present demands of the Aegis fleet have never been greater. Regular updates to Aegis software are needed to stay ahead of evolving threats and take advantage of advances in technology. As missile threats become more dangerous and prevalent, our citizens are counting on Aegis to continue to take on new missions, like hypersonic and homeland defense. Working with the U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin has embarked on a digital transformation of Aegis – using DevSecOps, Model Based System Engineering and Virtualization, and third party partnerships – to ensure that the Aegis Weapon System meets customer needs today and tomorrow.
DevSecOps Accelerates Software Deployment
“Our partnerships with leaders in academia and industry are propelling Aegis development even further into the future,” said Brendan Scanlon, Aegis Digital Transformation Program Director. We have partnered with SOLUTE, an industry leader in DevSecOps services, to establish Aegis software running on their suite of software development tools. Using this toolset, Lockheed Martin’s engineering teams incorporate cybersecurity from the ground up, collecting continuous feedback from users, and safely and reliably delivering new mission capabilities to warfighters. While maintaining a rigorous system engineering discipline, this process enables automated builds, increased quality assurance testing earlier in the process, and improved collaboration among developers. Build and test processes can now be completed overnight.
Our warfighters need capabilities that will face their immediate threats. We’ve partnered with Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) to develop an Aegis Enterprise Platform as a Service (PaaS) to ensure Aegis software updates can be delivered to the U.S. Navy where and when it’s most needed. Combined with digital engineering capabilities, the Aegis Enterprise PaaS will enable our team to rapidly and securely deploy software changes to virtualized Aegis at test sites, like the Advanced Radar Development Evaluation Laboratory (ARDEL) in Hawaii, the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico or directly to ships.
Digital Engineering: Modernizing Ship Integration
We’re applying new technologies to the process of combat system design, on-ship equipment installation and integration, and providing lifecycle support.
Each Navy ship is distinct – even those of the same class of ships – based on the changes and updates that are authorized over time by the Navy. Using 3-D laser scanners, we’re taking real-time, 3-D measurements of Aegis ships to understand the variation and configuration unique to each vessel. These electronic measurements are then converted into a computer-aided design (CAD) model that can be used during model based systems engineering. Not only does this save precious time for the Navy and industry during ship installation planning, but the data allows us to provide accurate plans for changes to combat system spaces. This will ensure tactical equipment, cables and support infrastructure seamlessly fit into shipboard spaces.
These 3-D models can be superimposed into the spaces on an actual ship with augmented reality using Microsoft Hololens technology. Using the Hololens, our teams can assess proposed changes, conduct preventative and corrective maintenance, and align the combat system faster than ever. Technical manual information and planned maintenance documents can be superimposed on top of actual equipment with augmented reality eyewear. This gives Navy technicians access to reference information in their field of view, including video tutorials, while conducting maintenance to ensure they are restored correctly.