Today marked another world's first for the Lockheed Martin-U.S. Navy Aegis Weapon System as an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) was successfully launched and guided with an Aegis S- Band link at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). This test represents the first command mid-course guided ESSM flight and is a key risk retirement step for this missile.
The ESSM, built by Raytheon as part of an international consortium, will improve the capability of U.S. and international ships to defend against advanced supersonic, anti-ship cruise missiles. This test, designated ESSM Aegis S-band #1 (SB-1), was the first of four planned demonstrations at WSMR that will validate the capability of the Aegis version of the ESSM prior to the first shipboard demonstration in June 2002.
The ESSM is being integrated by Lockheed Martin into the U.S. Navy's Aegis Weapon System Baseline 6 Phase III ships. This Aegis baseline brings improvements in ship self-defense as well as Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) capability to the fleet.
The Aegis version of the ESSM is guided by the SPY-1 family of phased array radar systems developed and produced by Lockheed Martin NE&SS-Surface Systems. The S-band missile version will be deployed in many ships and forms the basis for a robust and reliable ship self-defense capability.
"This test marks a key milestone for navies around the world," said Mark Gaspar, director, International Programs at NE&SS-Surface Systems. "The missile will be guided by the family of AN/SPY-1 radar systems including those of the U.S. Navy's Aegis destroyers, Spanish F-100 class of frigates and the recently contracted Norwegian Frigate utilizing the SPY-1F radar system. Today's demonstration retired major technical risks associated with deployment of the S-band guided ESSM missile. This system represents the future of ship self-defense and is available for a wide range of surface combatants."
The Aegis Weapon System and the SPY-1 family of radar systems are designed, built and integrated by Lockheed Martin NE&SS-Surface Systems. NE&SS provides surface ship and submarine combat, antisubmarine warfare and ocean surveillance systems, missile launching systems, radar and sensor systems, ship systems integration and system engineering services, and other advanced systems and services to customers worldwide. NE&SS is the largest business organization in the Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business area.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration is one of four principal business areas within the Lockheed Martin Corporation
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Corporation
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