The US Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded Lockheed Martin a $1 B contract for continued development and evolution of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin’s Surface-Sea Based Missile Defense line of business, in Moorestown, NJ, will design, develop, integrate, test, deliver and install further Aegis BMD capability for the US and allied navies.

“This contract will both continue the spiral development of Aegis BMD capability to meet expanding global security threats and increase the number of BMD-capable ships at sea by integrating Aegis BMD into the Aegis Modernization program,” explained Orlando Carvalho, Vice President and General Manager of the Lockheed Martin business completing the work. “This further supports the increasing demand for Aegis BMD capability worldwide, especially in light of the Administration’s recent shift in policy in European Missile Defense.”

Currently, a total of 21 Aegis BMD-equipped warships —19 in the US Navy and two in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force—have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range surveillance and tracking missions. The US Navy is modifying two additional US East Coast-based Aegis-equipped ships to perform ballistic missile defense.

The Aegis Weapon System is the world’s premier naval defense system and the sea-based element of the US Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Its precision SPY-1 radar and integrated command and control system seamlessly guides the interceptor and uplinks target track information to the missile for terminal homing. Its ability to detect, track and engage targets ranging from sea-skimming cruise missiles to ballistic missiles in space is proven. The Aegis BMD Weapon System also integrates with the BMDS, receiving track data from and providing track information to other BMDS elements.

The 92 Aegis-equipped ships currently in service around the globe have more than 950 years of at-sea operational experience and have launched more than 3,500 missiles in tests and real-world operations. In addition to the US, Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Australia, Japan, Norway, South Korea and Spain.