“All the functionality is built and has been [ready] for a while,” he adds.
The latest Aegis test triumph was a live-firing earlier this month, proving that the system can defend beyond its line of sight by integrating data from a remote sensor to intercept a target.
The Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) test marks the first test at sea, and the second consecutive time this year that Aegis has used remote data to successfully intercept a target, Lockheed says. Using the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) to interpret data from remote sources, Aegis launched a Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) missile from the cruiser CG-62 USS Chancellorsville to intercept the target.
The Chancellorsville is the first of four Aegis cruisers scheduled for Aegis Baseline 9 modernization, the combat system’s newest capability build. The ship’s upgrade was completed in March.
Lockheed also is working on the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.0 capabilities upgrade (CU) Aegis improvement. “We’re designing,” Sheridan says. “We’re building the code.”
BMD is becoming one of the most important developing missions for the Navy. The service has significantly changed its shipbuilding plans to get more BMD capability into the fleet sooner.
“My biggest fear is that funding would go away,” Sheridan says. “That it would stop the train. But we’re hitting all of the stations.”