Aegis Delivers Most Advanced Capability Yet Using DevSecOps

Aegis Delivers Most Advanced Capability Yet Using DevSecOps
February 08, 2021

Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

Aegis Delivers Most Advanced Capability Yet Using DevSecOps

The U.S. Navy certified the latest evolution of the Aegis Combat System – called Baseline 9.2.1 – which provides the most advanced capability ever in the Aegis fleet. Baseline 9.2.1 integrates new sensors and weapons and pushes Aegis into new mission areas, such as hypersonic defense. The system was proven during at sea testing aboard the USS Howard (DDG 83), which included multi-mission tests and multiple missile firings.

Aegis continues to add to its growing arsenal of capabilities that have long defined the system as the “shield of the fleet.”  In Baseline 9.2.1, Aegis’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability took another leap forward with the implementation of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.1.3 capability, which enhances BMD terminal defense and provides hypersonic defense capability. Lockheed Martin also integrated the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 sensor and the newest variant of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2.

Responding to urgent needs of the U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin was able to accelerate development and delivery of enhanced Naval Integrated Fire Control capability and the integration of National Technical Means into Baseline 9.2.1. 

The result? Navy leadership can more quickly close any gap an adversary creates.

DevSecOps approaches link development, security and operations groups in an integrated team, powered by a company-wide Software Factory infrastructure. That team builds in cybersecurity from the ground up, collects continuous feedback from users, and constantly delivers new mission capabilities to warfighters, while maintaining a rigorous systems engineering discipline to ensure delivered systems meet customer requirements and expectations.

“We’ve always talked about Aegis ‘pacing the threat’,” said Jim Sheridan, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin.  “Now, with the return of great power competition, the threat is rapidly accelerating.  And we’ve had to reinvent our processes to make sure the U.S. Navy – and the Aegis Weapon System – are always ahead of that threat. Aegis digital transformation is the key to sustaining our advantage.”

The Baseline 9.2.1 certification comes on the heels of certifying another Aegis baseline (5.4.0) in early 2020. Aegis baseline 5.4.0 provides new capabilities like radar discrimination and improves overall anti-air warfare and interoperability. Setting a high-water mark for Aegis quality, the system was certified with zero high priority computer program change requests, giving the warfighter one of the more robust and reliable Aegis Weapon Systems ever. 

“As the Aegis Combat Systems Engineering Agent (CSEA), we are constantly striving for three goals: better, faster, cheaper,” said Sheridan. “’Better’ means not only the advanced capability, but also quality of the software, which translates to the stability of the system.  We are pleased to see the results of our transformation efforts so tangibly in the high quality of the baseline.”

USS Sullivans
Currently at sea, USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) is the first ship with Baseline 5.4.0 installed.
Over the past few years, the fleet has had 26 BMD capable ships (21 DDGs and 5 CGs) that have varied between four system configurations.  Working with the Missile Defense Agency, Lockheed Martin will upgrade 23 of those ships to the new Baseline 5.4.0. This consolidation of configurations eases the training and support for Aegis systems at sea.