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AEGIS Weapon System Mk 7

Modern anti-ship missiles can be launched several hundred miles away in coordinated attacks, combining air, surface and subsurface launches, so that the missiles arrive on target almost simultaneously. The Navy defends against this threat with a number of different systems. In a carrier battle group, fighter aircraft provide the outer layer of defense; Aegis coordinates and protects the inner layer. The Navy's Aegis system provides area defense for the battle group as well as a clear air picture for more effective deployment of air assets. Aegis enables fighter aircraft to concentrate more on the outer air battle while cruisers and destroyers assume a greater responsibility for battle group area defense. The missile launching system, the computer programs, the radar and the displays are fully integrated to work together.

The Aegis Weapon System is the world's premier naval surface defense system and is the foundation for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, the primary component of the sea-based element of the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System. When paired with the Lockheed Martin-developed MK-41 Vertical Launching System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. The Aegis Weapon System is currently deployed on 86 ships around the globe, with 20 additional ships planned. In addition to the U.S. Navy and Australia, Aegis is the maritime weapon system of choice for Japan, South Korea, Norway and Spain.

The Aegis weapon system is an advanced combat, control, and information system that uses powerful computers and radars to track and destroy enemy targets. It is the most advanced modern combat system and is the first fully integrated combat system built to defend against air, surface, and subsurface threats. The Aegis combat system is America's most capable surface launched missile system. It can guide weapons to destroy almost any kind of threat including attacks from subsurface, surface, and the air. Because of its advanced computer system, the Aegis combat system can track over 100 targets. Some Aegis equipped ships can track even more targets at one time.

The Aegis Weapons System comprises the SPY-1 Radar, MK 99 Fire Control System and ORTS, MK 41 VLS, the Command and Decision Suite, and SM-2 Standard Missile systems. The Aegis Weapons System is controlled by an advanced, automatic detect-and-track, multi-function three-dimensional passive electronically scanned array radar, the AN/SPY-1. Known as "the Shield of the Fleet", the SPY high-powered (four megawatt) radar is able to perform search, tracking, and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a track capacity of well over 100 targets at more than 100 nautical miles (190 km).

The AEGIS Weapon System is the most capable surface launched missile system the Navy has ever put to sea. It can defeat an extremely wide range of targets from wave top to directly overhead. AEGIS is extremely capable against anti-ship cruise missiles and manned aircraft flying in all speed ranges from subsonic to supersonic. The AEGIS system is effective in all environmental conditions having both all-weather capability and demonstrated outstanding abilities in chaff and jamming environments. AEGIS brings a revolutionary, multi-mission combat capability to the US Navy. AEGIS equipped ships are capable of engaging and defeating enemy aircraft, missiles, submarines and surface ships.

AEGIS equipped ships are key elements in modern carrier and battleship battle groups. The surface Navy's AEGIS system provides area defense for the battle group as well as a clear air picture for more effective deployment of fighter aircraft. AEGIS enables fighter aircraft to concentrate more on the outer air battle while cruisers and destroyers assume a greater responsibility for battle group area defense. Technological advances in missile and computer battle management systems make it possible for AEGIS equipped ships to join carrier air assets in outer air defense. The highly accurate firing of AEGIS weapon systems results in minimizing the expenditure of assets.

The Aegis Combat System was designed as a total weapon system, from detection to kill. The heart of the AEGIS systems is an advanced, automatic detect and track, multi-functional phased-array radar, the AN/SPY-1. This high-powered (four megawatt) radar is able to perform search, track and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a capability of over 100 targets. The first Engineering Development Model (EDM-1) was installed in the test ship, USS Norton Sound (AVM 1) in 1973.

The AEGIS Weapon System Mk 7 is made up of the following nine elements:

  1. AN/SPY-1 Radar
  2. Command and Decision (C&D) System
  3. Weapons Control System (WCS)
  4. Fire Control System (FCS)
  5. GMLS Mk 26 or VLS Mk 41
  6. Standard Guided Missile
  7. AEGIS Display System (ADS)
  8. Operational Readiness Test System (ORTS)
  9. AEGIS Combat Training System (ACTS)
All these elements form the core of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS). Link 16 and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) are also an integral part of the AWS.

Of the nine elements, seven have sophisticated computer programs for operation, control, and interface. These are the AN/SPY-1, C&D, WCS, FCS, ADS, ORTS, and ACTS. Operators manage and control the C&D, WCS, and SPY programs with doctrine statements. These statements allow the operator to define parameters that control the computer program for the tactical situation. Doctrine statements define automatic actions for targets meeting specific conditions.

AN/SPY-1 Radar System

The AN/SPY-l radar system is the primary search and track radar for AEGIS-equipped ships. It is a multifunction, phased array radar, capable of three-dimensional surveillance, while simultaneously providing fire control tracking for hundreds of air and surface targets in clear and ECM environments. In addition to search and track, it provides midcourse guidance to the Standard missile (SM-2).

Command and Decision System

The command and decision (C&D) system is a manned computer and display complex that coordinates and controls the AEGIS mission. C&D operators manage automatic CIC operations related to the following: Air, surface, and subsurface engagements Electronic warfare system control Data link control IFF challenges User defined information alerts Weapon tight zones

Weapons Control System

The weapons control system (WCS) schedules, controls, and assesses all air, surface, and subsurface engagements. It is the interface between the C&D and the FCS of the delivery system.

Fire Control System

The fire control system (FCS) provides illumination control for Standard missile engagements. WCS assignment orders and AN/SPY-1 target data make a designation source for the FCS illuminators. The FCS consists of four AN/SPG-62A radar sets. These four sets permit the illumination of multiple targets simultaneously.

AEGIS Display System

The AEGIS display system (ADS) is a computer-controlled display complex that provides various pictures and information of the tactical environment. With the ADS, commanders can observe and control a graphic representation of selected tracks, coastal maps, weapons release zones, and specific warfare environments. After entry of selected information, the displays are automatically updated in regard to own-ship's position. The ADS receives all track information from the C&D system.

Operational Readiness Test System

The operational readiness test system (ORTS) is a computer-controlled test and monitor system that performs automatic fault detection, fault isolation, status monitoring, and system reconfiguration. When a fault occurs, the ORTS automatically assesses and displays the highest level of system impact. Through a keyboard, the operator can initiate tests, evaluate system performance, and load programs into the various AEGIS computers. When tests are being conducted the system uses embedded test equipment throughout the system to measure voltages, analyze data, and measure power and phase.

AEGIS Combat Training System

The AEGIS combat training system (ACTS) enables shipboard personnel to conduct highly integrated multifaceted warfare training scenarios. It also provides the capability to record and print out specific training events for self-evaluation.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:56:03 ZULU