Lockheed open up Aegis

The US Navy has given its approval for Lockheed Martin to install the world’s first fully-open architecture Aegis weapon system for a major warship.

The open architecture uses commonly-available commercial computing hardware and open system software to enable easier technology updates and compatibility in the future.

The system will be installed on the USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) during its depot modernisation period which is scheduled to commence in February 2008.

Over the next 10 years a further 21 cruisers are scheduled to receive the open architecture system and in 2012 the navy will begin a program to modernise the 62 Aegis-equipped Arleigh Burke destroyers.

‘Aegis open architecture will continue to keep a force of 84 US Navy cruisers and destroyers – and dozens of allied Aegis-equipped ships – relevant and at the forefront of technology for the extent of their ship life,’ said Orlando Carvalho, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Surface-Sea Based Missile Defense. ‘Providing this transformation is the result of thorough systems engineering and close collaboration with the navy and multiple innovative business partners to replace custom designed software with open architecture software.’

The Aegis weapon system is a naval surface defence system and includes the SPY-1 radar, MK 41 vertical launching system plus SM-2 and SM-3 missiles.