August 14, 2012
Credit: Credit: U.S. NAVY
The Aegis combat system is a core part of the U.S. Navy’s DDG guided missile destroyer construction plan, with its integration anchoring the vessel’s testing milestones, according to a review of the recent DDG-113 contract awarded to shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).
The Aegis-equipped destroyer is the linchpin of the Navy’s planned ballistic missile defense (BMD) mission. The Navy recently revamped its surface-fleet shipbuilding plan to restart the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class vessels, and the DDG-113 is the first of the rekindled vessel line.
The $773.6 million ship contract makes it clear the Aegis system is vital to the ship’s construction and delivery.
“The contractor shall assign a member of the contractor’s program management staff as a member of the Aegis Test Team (ATT),” says the contract, recently obtained by the Aviation Week Intelligence Network under the Freedom of Information Act.
The contract also calls for the shipbuilder to provide particular protection for the equipment, including, specifically, the Aegis cooling skid and vertical launch module mounted components, used for the combat system.
The contract also includes the following “special program requirements:”
• The contractor shall provide sufficient time in his construction schedules for the Aegis Test Team to conduct its testing activities uninterrupted and with essentially unrestricted access to the ship(s);
• The contractor shall perform maintenance on Aegis combat system equipment during times at which tests are not being conducted (unless required to enable testing and with the approval of the Aegis test officer). Routine maintenance shall be performed by the contractor on a not-interfere basis; and