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Page Title: Aegis Weapon System -Continued
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a  total  weapons  system,  from  detection  to  kill. The heart of the system is an advanced, automatic detect-and-track,   multifunction   phased-array radar-the  AN/SPY-1.  This  high-power  (4  mega- watt) radar can perform search, track, and missile- guidance  functions  simultaneously  with  a  track capacity  of  well  over  100  targets.  After  several years of development and land-based testing, the first  Engineering  Development  Model  (EDM-1) was installed in the test ship, USS Norton Sound (AVM   1)   in   1973.   Within   weeks   the   Aegis weapons system had successfully engaged the most difficult targets possible in extremely demanding antiair warfare scenarios intended to stress it to its limit. The  Aegis  weapons  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. It is  extremely  capable  against  antiship  cruise missiles and manned aircraft flying in all speed ranges from subsonic to supersonic. The Aegis is effective  in  all  environmental  conditions.  It  has both   all-weather   capability   and   outstanding abilities  in  chaff  and  jamming  environments. The  computer-based  command-decision  ele- ment is the core of the Aegis weapons system. It is this interface that makes the Aegis capable of simultaneous  operations  against  a  multimission threat:  antiair,  antisurface,  and  antisubmarine warfare. This combat system can also be used for overall   force   coordination. The  Aegis  weapons  system  brings  a  revolu- tionary  multimission  combat  capability  to  the U.S.  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. Several  shipboard  applications  were  studied before  the  design  of  the  first  Aegis  ships  was chosen.  The  design  chosen  was  based  on  the hull  and  machinery  designs  of  Spruance-class destroyers.   Originally   identified   as   a   guided- missile  destroyer  (DDG-47),  the  class  was  redesig- nated a guided-missile cruiser. The first ship of the class, USS Ticonderoga  (CG-47),  was  christened by  Mrs.  Nancy  Reagan  on  Armed  Forces  Day 1981  and  commissioned  on  23  January  1983. USS  Ticonderoga   deployed  to  the  Mediter- ranean with the USS  Independence  battle  group in   October   1983.   It   supplied   outstanding   air defense  coverage  to  our  ships  off  the  coast  of Lebanon.   Commenting   on   the   ship’s   perfor- mance,  the  Chief  of  Naval  Operations  said, “Ticonderoga   provided   to   the   Eastern Mediterranean  Task  Force  an  impressive  new tactical  dimension  which  included  100  percent weapon  system  availability  and  a  coherent  air picture  allowing  the  antiair  warfare  coordinator (AAWC) (embarked in  Ticonderoga)  to  manage, rather  than  react  to  a  difficult  situation.” Since   1983   additional   Aegis   cruisers   have joined USS  Ticonderoga  in the fleet. The 27th and final CG-47-class cruiser will be commissioned in 1994. The   commissioning   of   USS   Bunker   Hill (CG-52) opened a new era in surface warfare as the  first  Aegis  ship  outfitted  with  the  vertical launching  system  (VLS).  This  system  allowed greater   missile   selection,   firepower,   and survivability.  The  improved  SPY-1B  radar  went to  sea  in  USS  Princeton  (CG-59),  ushering  in another  advance  in  Aegis  capabilities. In  1980  the  preliminary  plans  for  a  smaller ship  with  Aegis  capabilities  were  studied.  Because of  advanced  technology,  we  can  now  build  an Aegis weapons system compatible with a smaller ship while maintaining the multimission capability vital  to  modern  surface  forces.  As  a  result,  a contract was awarded in 1985 for construction of the  first  DDG-51-class  ship. The lead ship of the DDG-51 class bears the name of a living person—the legendary Admiral Arleigh  “31-knot”  Burke.  He  was  the  most  famous destroyerman  of  World  War  II.  Admiral  Burke has  attended  each  design  phase  of  the  DDG-51 and  observed  its  keel  laying  in  Bath,  Maine. The  DDG-51s  will  be  built  in  cycles,  which allows  incorporation  of  technological  advances during  construction.  This  allows  for  “forward- fitting”  technology  rather  than  very  expensive “back-fitting” technology   during   scheduled overhauls.  In  other  words,  this  allows  for advanced  planning  to  prevent  costly  changes  after the completion of the ship. CG-47-class cruisers are  also  constructed  by  this  method. The surface Navy’s Aegis ships provide area defense for the battle group as well as a clear air picture for more effective deployment of F-14 and F/A-18  aircraft.  At  present,  the  Aegis  weapons system enables fighter aircraft to concentrate more on   the   outer   air   battle   while   cruisers   and destroyers  concentrate  on  battle  group  area defense.  Technological  advances  in  missile  and computer  battle  management  systems  will  soon permit  Aegis-equipped  ships  to  join  carrier  air assets in outer air defense. The highly accurate firing of Aegis will result in a decrease of asset expenditures. 20-14

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