RAN Upgrades Air Warfare Destroyers With Baseline 9 Aegis combat system

In support of the Royal Australian Navy and the Destroyer Enterprise, Lockheed Martin Australia has successfully executed a range of complex Aegis upgrades onboard HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane at Garden Island, Sydney during the challenging COVID-19 lockdown period.

Lockheed Martin Australia, working with the RAN and industry partners as part of a combat system enterprise approach, performed specialist upgrades and deep maintenance on the Aegis Weapons System including SPY-1D(V) radar systems onboard the RAN Hobart-class Destroyers during May and June.

This period has demonstrated Australian sovereign sustainment of the Aegis Weapon System in the absence of planned US onsite support due to COVID19 restrictions.

This is the first time a Lockheed Martin international team has planned and executed an upgrade to an Aegis-equipped ship outside of the U.S.

As part of this work, the Aegis Computer Program, complex Aegis “light off” activities and deep system maintenance was performed onboard HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, ultimately ensuring all systems were operating correctly and the ships were operationally ready to commence their next mission.

“This effort demonstrates Australia’s sustainable sovereign industrial capability in action at its best, with the global expertise performing the knowledge transfer to the local team during the  program execution phase and thereby allowing sovereign talent to deliver the sustainment efforts on the ground in Australia,”

Joe North, chief executive Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand

Lockheed Martin Australia worked hand-in-glove with the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Support Unit, ship’s crew, local and international government and industry partners over a three-week period to complete the installation of key Aegis systems upgrades to the Hobart Class Destroyers in line with the Royal Australian Navy’s capability requirements.

“We are extremely proud of this achievement,” North said. “Delivering multiple Aegis Combat System upgrades, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, is a testament of genuine partnerships and teamwork at play and reaffirms our resolute commitment to delivering on the Royal Australian Navy’s mission-critical priorities for the Hobart Class Destroyers.”

“We also remain committed to supporting the Hunter Class Frigate program and continuing to build innovative sovereign industrial capability in support of Australia’s future defence technology needs,” North said.

About Baseline 9 Aegis Combat Systems

The Baseline 9 system also forms the core of the US$1.7 billion investment plan to purchase 43 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence Systems as outlined in the 2019FY Defence budget. 

Centred around the AN/SPY-1 radar, Aegis is a fully integrated combat system, providing full 360-degree, 3D tracking capacity, Aegis is capable of simultaneously defending against attack from land targets, submarines and surface ships while automatically protecting the fleet against aircraft cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

LM Aegis CS 2
In a briefing on Aegis and Baseline 9, Lockheed Martin Director of Business Development for Mission Systems Neale Prescott said Aegis provided protection not just for the Aegis-equipped ship, but for other high value assets in a task force such as the Navy’s large Canberra class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ships.

Australia’s first Aegis capable warships, the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers, have paved the way for the system to be integrated into the Royal Australian Navy, with Aegis announced as the combat system for the Hunter Class in conjunction with the Australian designed CEAFAR phased array radar system and a uniquely Australian interface supplied by Saab Australia. 

Petty Officer Boatswain Robert Filzer from HMAS Sydney conducts training with the Aegis Combat System onboard USS Kidd to prepare for the arrival of the new Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers to the Royal Australian Navy Fleet.  Image has been digitally altered to blur equipment for reasons of operational security. *** Local Caption *** USS Kidd, a United States Navy Destroyer, arrived into Fleet Base East in Sydney this week for a port visit to enable Royal Australian Navy sailors the opportunity for crucial exposure to the Kidd's Aegis Combat System. The Aegis system will be the central nervous system of the new Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers coming into service in the Royal Australian Navy. The Air Warfare Destroyer Program will provide the Royal Australian Navy with one of the world’s most capable all purpose warships. The Hobart Class design, coupled with the Aegis combat system, ensures tomorrow’s Navy has the best equipment to defend Australia and its national interests. The Aegis Combat System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), in combination with the SM-2 missile, will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150km. The timely visit from USS Kidd coincides with the keel laying ceremony for NUSHIP Brisbane, the second of three AWDs, in Adelaide.
Aegis Combat Systems Interface

This growing global fleet provides Australian industry with the opportunity to integrate and participate with the global supply chain, while also enhancing the operational understanding, integration and combat capabilities of the system to augment Australian and allied operation of the platform.  

Above, on or below the surface, Aegis is a complete multi-mission combat system and is currently successfully integrated across 107 ships and nine classes for six nations, including the US, Japan, Australia the Republic of Korea, Spain and Norway.

As Australia continues to transition the ADF to an integrated force whereby key, fifth-generation force multipliers like the F-35, the E-7A Wedgetail, P-8A Poseidon, the future submarines and key land warfare platforms, including Boxer, Aegis will serve as a critical element of Australia’s existing and future networked and integrated battlespace.

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