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Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense

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The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system is the primary sea-based component of the U.S. missile defense system. Aegis BMD seamlessly integrates the SPY-1 radar, MK 41 Vertical Launching System, and SM-3 missile through an advanced command and control system. The central component of the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis Combat System is the SPY-1 radar, the most widely fielded naval phased array radar in the world. The Aegis system and SPY-1 radar provide the U.S. and allied nations with advanced surveillance, anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities.

Aegis BMD uses the mobility of Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers to permit intercepts during the ascent, midcourse and descent phases, as well as providing surveillance support to other elements of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).

Currently, 27 Aegis BMD-equipped warships have the certified capability to engage ballistic missiles and perform long-range surveillance and tracking missions, as well as an additional four ships in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The U.S. Navy plans to procure seven new Aegis-equipped destroyers, and has also identified one additional Aegis Ashore system for modification to perform ballistic missile defense.

Aegis BMD-equipped ships use hit-to-kill technology to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Additionally, Aegis BMD-equipped ships provide surveillance and tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles and work with other BMDS elements to provide advance warning for the defense of the nation, deployed U.S. forces and allies.

The current Aegis configurations - Aegis BMD 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 - enables the Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy to defeat more sophisticated ballistic missile threats. The BMD signal processor is a commercial-off-the-shelf adjunct signal processor using open architecture standards. The configuration also includes an open architecture BMD computing suite that improves overall system capabilities and enables future insertion of additional off-the-shelf products, third-party components, and turn-key solutions.

The Aegis BMD 4.0.2 configuration enables the Navy to quickly defeat sophisticated ballistic missile threats by integrating sensors from space, land and sea for persistent and reliable detection.

The next planned BMD evolution will combine air defense and missile defense functionality into a single integrated air and missile defense system.

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