Lockheed Martin officials have signed a $173 million contract award to manufacture three Aegis Weapon Systems for the US navy.
The order for systems, which will be installed aboard Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, is the first instalment of a 17-ship, four-year contract with a total value of $1.1 billion, if all options are exercised.
According to a statement, the Aegis Weapon System includes SPY-1, the navy’s most advanced computer-controlled radar system that, when paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launch System, is capable of delivering missiles for every scenario in naval warfare.
The system can simultaneously attack multiple incoming aircraft, missiles, submarines, torpedoes and attacking ships while automatically implementing defences to protect the fleet. Aegis is also said to be capable of countering all existing and emerging threats to a naval battle group, as well as striking inland targets.
Now, sea-based missile defence capability is being built on Aegis technology. In January 2002, Aegis successfully guided a missile intercept of an exoatmospheric target missile off the coast of Hawaii.
The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on 65 Aegis-class ships stationed around the world, and 25 more have been approved by Congress. Since its introduction to the US navy more than 20 years ago, Aegis has been approved for sale to Spain, Norway and Japan.