Naval Systems - Planning Firms Up for Aegis Baselines

By Edward J. Walsh

Cruisers between CG-59 and -72, except for several the Navy plans to retire next year, are expected to receive baseline 9, formerly called ACB-12. All of the destroyers now in service and under construction also eventually will get baseline 9. The cruiser variant is designated 9A; the destroyer program is 9C.

In late 2012 Lockheed Martin completed installation and light-off for Aegis baseline 9A on board the Chancellorsville (CG-62) in San Diego. Baseline 9C installation also is under way on board the first Burke -class destroyer to get the program, the John Paul Jones (DDG-53), also in San Diego.

Navy officials say the cruiser and destroyer baseline 9 variants differ in that 9A provides only anti-air-warfare upgrades, while 9C provides a significantly enhanced ballistic-missile/integrated air-defense (BMD/IAMD) capability.

The baseline 9 programs are maintained in a common-source library that allows the Aegis program to maximize commonality for both modernizations and new-ship construction, and minimize or eliminate the need for new software development. The common-source library also will provide baseline 9E for the Aegis Ashore program, scheduled for deployment in Rumania in 2015 and in Poland in 2018.

The BMD/IAMD capability for the destroyers is enabled primarily by Aegis “open-architecture” software, including a BMD 5.0 program and a multi-mission signal processor that supports the naval integrated fire-control-counter-air (NIFC-CA) capability and the Raytheon-built RIM-174 SM-6 air-defense missile (the cruisers also get NIFC-CA with baseline 9A). Baseline 9C also includes display and processing upgrades for the destroyers’ Aegis SPY-1D(v) phased-array radar.

“The IAMD capability going aboard John Paul Jones allows the Navy to dynamically balance radar resources in a way it has not been able to do before,” Sheridan said.

The SM-6, built by Raytheon Missile Systems, is fitted with an active seeker for extended range effectiveness.

NIFC-CA, supported by baseline 9, integrates the surveillance and tracking capabilities of the E-2D advanced Hawkeye aircraft and other remote sensors such as the Army’s JLENS (joint land-attack cruise-missile-defense elevated netted sensor system) with CEC and SM-6 to provide a remote targeting capability.

In September the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems and the Army conducted a successful demonstration of NIFC-CA at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. For the demo, the baseline 9 program used sensor data provided by the JLENS via CEC to launch an SM-6, which intercepted a cruise-missile target.

In the Navy’s current plan, the lead ship Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) through the Porter (DDG-78) will be the first destroyers to be fitted out with baseline 9C.

The Aegis program then will introduce baseline 9D for the John Finn (DDG-113), now under construction as the first ship to be built in the restarted Burke program (originally planned to end with DDG-112 but now extended at least to DDG-125). Baseline 9D will incorporate 9C capabilities and new radar advances, making the Finn the first ship designed and built to be BMD-capable.

The combat systems for future new-build Burke s will be based on capabilities that emerge with ACBs-14, -16, and -20. In current planning, ACB-20 also will support a new air- and missile-defense radar that will replace the SPY-1D(v) for ships beginning with DDG-123.

Mr. Walsh is a veteran reporter of Navy and Marine Corps news and former editor of Naval Systems Update .


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