Innovative Naval Systems Impress at MAST Eurasia Conference


Last month, several world leading naval combat system providers gathered for the 11th Maritime Systems and Technology (MAST) Eurasia Conference in Istanbul, Turkey to exchange ideas and discuss new innovations with industry and government representatives.

Hosted by the Turkish Navy and Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, several Turkish industry companies including Aselsan, Havelsan, and MilSOFT attended the show to display their systems. Lockheed Martin presented key developments for critical naval systems, such as the Aegis Weapon System and MK 41 Vertical Launch System.

Not Your Father’s Aegis
Doug Wilhelm, director of International Programs at Lockheed Martin, presented a paper entitled, “Not Your Father’s Aegis,” where he briefed the recent developments on the Aegis program, where the world’s leading naval combat system has been updated with new capabilities and technology.

As Wilhelm described, the system’s evolution allows the U.S. to more easily integrate with internationally-developed combat systems.  A certain component of Aegis known as the Fire Control Loop – which is the tested and proven way Aegis detects and defeats threats with guided missiles – can now be extracted and interfaced with national command and control systems.

The Story of Aegis
What once started as a domestic defense system is now leading the world in Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). The success from the BMD program, which is also part of the newest capability package known as Baseline 9, has made Aegis the only naval system capable of tracking and engaging ballistic missile targets.

Rear Adm. (Retired) Brad Hicks, vice president of Business Development at Lockheed Martin, presented a paper entitled “The Evolution of Aegis BMD,” including Aegis’ role in the missile defense capabilities of Europe, which includes deploying Aegis ships in the region and developing a new land-based version called Aegis Ashore, which will be delivered to Romania for operational capability next year.  Turkey plays a critical role in the missile defense of Europe, as it is home to the TPY-2 radar, which provides early warning of enemy missiles and has been demonstrated to be interoperable with Aegis.

The advancements in Aegis Baseline 9 provide Aegis customers the option to field a system capable of performing simultaneous Anti-Air Warfare and BMD, or upgrade to BMD following initial Aegis acquisition.

Real-time Testing
Just hours before Hicks’ briefing, the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency completed the first live fire test of Aegis Ashore, where the new land-based system safely launched and controlled a missile against a simulated target in Hawaii.  Hicks announced the successful test to the MAST audience and explained the significance of another successful test proving the Aegis capability.

June 17, 2014