$1B Aegis missile defense upgrade deal awarded

Program will increase number of ships able to engage ballistic missiles, conduct long-range surveillance and tracking missions

Lockheed Martin Corp will furnish a wide range of ongoing development support for the Aegis ballistic missile defense weapon system under a contract valued at $1 billion.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will design, integrate, test and install further Aegis BMD capability for U.S. and allied navies, company officials said yesterday. The Defense Missile Agency awarded the contract.

The project will continue the spiral development of Aegis BMD and also increase the number of BMD-capable ships at sea by tying together the missile defense upgrades to the overall Aegis modernization program, Lockheed Martin officials said.

Nineteen U.S. Navy ships and two Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ships currently have the capability to engage ballistic missiles and conduct long-range surveillance and tracking missions, company officials said. The U.S. Navy is retrofitting two additional U.S. Aegis-equipped ships based on the East Coast to perform ballistic missile defense.

The Aegis Weapon System constitutes the sea-based element of the nation’s BMD system. Its SPY-1 radar and integrated command and control system guides the interceptor and sends target tracking information to the missile for terminal homing.

As part of the Aegis modernization effort, the Defense Missile Agency also has awarded contracts for radar improvement.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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