Skip to comments.Lockheed: Aegis getting even better, but limits in sight
Posted on 04/15/2012 11:20:45 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Lockheed: Aegis getting even better, but limits in sight
Lockheed Martins newest edition of Aegis will be the best its ever been, a top company official said Friday, but theres only so much more that software and other upgrades can do with the existing radars aboard U.S. Navy and international warships.
Jeff Bantle, the companys vice president for naval combat and missile defense, told reporters that Aegis Baseline 9 will bring new levels of game-changery to cruisers and destroyers: It will be able to do air defense and ballistic missile defense simultaneously; use remote sensor data from tomorrows E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft; give greater detail when tracking targets; and be simpler and easier for crews to maintain.
I tell everybody: Its really not your mothers Aegis, Bantle said.
Aegis has already demonstrated its ability to launch on remote in a missile defense test, he said last year, a Navy ship launched an interceptor against a ballistic missile target with no sensor data of its own. Engineers hope to take advantage of that capability in air warfare as well. As part of the Navys plan for integrated fire control, a D-model Hawkeye could spot a threat and order a launch hundreds of miles beyond an Aegis ships own sensors, greatly increasing the range of safety for a carrier strike group.
Just like Leica lenses, Baseline 9 will be both backward and forward-compatible, he said the Navy can install it on its early model cruisers and destroyers and also put it to sea aboard its new run of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, starting with the very first ship, the USS William S. Sims.
Baseline 9 will sail first aboard the cruiser USS Chancellorsville, which is getting its upgrade now, and then later aboard the destroyer USS John Paul Jones.
Bantle said the latest version of Aegis will be much simpler than the earlier mods, which packed otherwise brand-new ships with a Radio Shack hodgepodge of vacuum tubes, amplifiers and ENIAC-level computing equipment. That complexity along with Big Navy rollbacks of training and manning has meant that Aegis has become a maintenance challenge for the surface force. As such, Capability 9 includes a readiness and supportability maintenance system, Bantle said, which will help crews diagnose faults, deal with repairs and generally have an easier job running their systems.
So another rejuvenation for the worlds greatest seagoing combat system. Built to defend carrier groups from Soviet missile attacks in World War III, now Aegis can launch on remote and shoot down intermediate-range ballistic missiles. But theres only so much the SPY-1 radars on the cruisers and destroyers can do, which is why the Navy wants it future generations of ships to carry new ones.
Were now getting to the limits of how much energy that antenna can put out, Bantle said of the SPY sets. Hence the Air and Missile Defense Radar, for which Bantle said he expects a request for proposals real soon.
That, however, is a whole different story.
The problem is that we are still mounting the radars low, which may make them less capable of detecting sea-skimming missiles. The BAE Sampson and the Thales APAR are both mounted higher.
OTOH the PAAMS ships get their absurd height because the BAE Sampson (and whatever the Franco Italian equivalent is) use a two face rotating antenna - light but always with gaps in the coverage)
The Gripping Hand is that the fixed 4 faces of Thales APAR or Israel's Elta MF-STAR is probably best (if it's not CEAFAR's six faces).
The good news is that Chinese mount their ESA antenna at an even lower height than the SPY-1D
Although they are trialling mounting them higher :^}
An essential PING.
Excellent article, Spetz. Good info. AEGIS is a great system and will continue to be the foremost missile defense system for years to come. But the SPY-1 set up is in fact raching its limits.
Sooner or later the new dual band, multi-function SPY-3 radars will be available and optimized enough to make even more progress.
BTW, Oztrich Boy, that final pic of the PLAN Lanzhou class DDG is PSd. There is no such radar install that has ever been attached to or planned for those Type 052C vessels.
They may well plan on mounting them higher in the future on newer vessels...but that one, LOL, is not the avenue.
The Rising Sea Dragon in Asia
AEGIS and AEGIS-Like Vessels of the World
World-Wide Aircraft Carrier
Actually I think it's not photoshopped, just passing a port crane.