New bids for Aegis system
Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon have submitted their bids for getting a follow-up contract for the ‘Aegis’ combat system. The system, created in the late 1960s, is the US Navy’s most capable weapons system. It is the base for its fleet air defence and especially ballistic missile defence (BMD). Currently, 27 Ticonderoga-class cruisers and at least 70 DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are equipped with the system which has been produced by Lockheed Martin since the company purchased Martin Marietta in 1995.
Aegis is also used by Spanish, Norwegian, Japanese and South Korean cruisers and plays a major role in NATO’s missile defence shield for Europe. According to the US Missile Defence Agency, currently 24 Aegis ships are equipped with BMD capabilities. The contract contains the capability development for existing cruisers and destroyers and foresees the creation of a new system for DDG 51 Flight III ships. It will be awarded by the Navy at the end of 2012. In a separate competition, Lockheed, Raytheon and Northrop are bidding for a contract concerning the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) to replace the existing SPY-1 Radars for Aegis as of 2016.