Royal Australian Navy HMAS Hobart Aegis Destroyer Completes Weapons Evaluations with U.S. Navy
Royal Australian Navy HMAS Hobart Aegis Destroyer Completes Weapons Evaluations with U.S. Navy

Lockheed Martin Wins US Navy and Royal Australian Navy’s AEGIS Modernization Contract

Lockheed Martin has won a contract valued $79.3 million to modernize AEGIS weapon systems operated by the U.S. Navy and Australia. This modification contract covers AEGIS modernization (AMOD) and guided missile destroyer new construction production requirements. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. government (84%); and the government of the Commonwealth of Australia (16%) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work for today’s contract is expected to be completed by March 2025.

The Royal Australian Navy commissioned three Hobart-class destroyers which have Aegis Baseline 7.1 Refresh 2 version as the core of their combat systems, with the last entering service in 2020. The Australian Government announced that the class of nine Hunter-class frigates to be built in the next decade will also be Aegis equipped, but with a tactical interface developed by Saab Australia. The system has been ‘Australianised’ to be more capable in regards to non-aviation threats.

The Arleigh Burke-class Aegis Guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) transits the Pacific Ocean Jan. 15, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi)

The Aegis Combat System is an American integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets. The ACS is composed of the Aegis Weapon System (AWS), the fast-reaction component of the Aegis Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) capability, along with the Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS), and the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System.

The US Navy currently operates the Aegis equipped Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and has ordered more of the latter. It will reportedly integrate the new Aegis Baseline 10 on its upcoming FFG(X) ships. Aegis is now used also by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Spanish Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy, Republic of Korea Navy and Royal Australian Navy. Over 100 Aegis-equipped ships have been deployed. It is also part of NATO’s European missile defence system.