MOORESTOWN, N.J., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The latest evolution of the Aegis Combat System for U.S. destroyers, Baseline 9.C1, has been certified by the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency.
Certification for deployment follows four test events this past summer aboard the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) in which it detected, tracked and engaged two ballistic missile targets and two air warfare targets.
"The Aegis Combat System Baseline 9.C1 offers unprecedented capabilities, including simultaneous air and ballistic missile defense," said Jim Sheridan, Lockheed Martin director of Aegis programs. "This Aegis baseline also improves Aegis networking capabilities, allowing Aegis vessels to automatically coordinate defense with input from satellite and ground-based radar assets -- forming a true shield of defense over a wide area."
Lockheed Martin said the enhanced system -- with enhanced radar resolution and target discrimination capabilities -- includes the most current generation of ballistic missile defense programming, known as BMD 5.0 Capability Upgrade, which allows for the destruction of ballistic missiles in both the upper atmosphere and the lower atmosphere.
The BMD capabilities of Baseline 9.C1 are also present in Aegis Ashore, the ground-based missile defense program that is the second phase of the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach to protect Europe from ballistic missile attack.