Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR October 2010 Contents Lockheed Martin announced on September 16 that it had recently
demonstrated the second generation of its Aegis Ballistic Missile
Defense (BMD) capability in a formal U.S. Navy test event.
This configuration, known as Aegis BMD 4.0 .1, enables the U.S.
Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy to defeat more complex
ballistic missile threats and also introduces the BMD signal processor,
which improves target identification.
Lockheed Martin says that Aegis BMD 4.0 .1 marks the beginning of
the transition to the Navy’s open architecture - a transition that will be
complete with software upgrades, known as Advanced Capability Build
12, scheduled for 2012.
“This milestone represents the continuing evolution of Aegis that
will lead to the merger of Aegis open architecture and Aegis BMD in
2012,” said Nick Bucci, Lockheed Martin director of BMD development
programs. “This next-generation signal processor upgrade provides
a leap-ahead capability that improves system effectiveness against
expanding enemy threats.”
This upgrade is enhanced by the Aegis system’s ability to incorporate
commercial off-the-shelf computing technology and open architecture
standards. Further testing - a tracking exercise this fall and an at sea
intercept test in March 2011 - will result in certification and deployment
in September 2011.
The MDA and the Navy are jointly developing and fielding Aegis
BMD as part of the United States’ BMD system. Recently the Navy’s
independent operational test agent assessed the first generation Aegis
BMD and SM-3 Block IA system to be operationally effective and
Currently, a total of 23 Aegis BMD-equipped warships - 20 in the
Navy and 3 in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force - have the
certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range
surveillance and tracking missions. 12 additional ships have been
identified for modification to perform ballistic missile defense in the
next 36 months.
Aegis-equipped Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS
Bulkeley (DDG 84). Credit: USN / Jared M King
formal testing of second-
generation Aegis ballistic
missile defense capability
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