Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's next generation Aegis missile defense system has been validated by achieving greater operational performance, efficiency and reliability, the company said on Thursday.
The Aegis Ashore is a land-based ballistic missile defense system that has been modified from the Aegis Combat System, which is normally deployed on naval ships.
Lockheed's operational achievement came after successfully connecting Aegis Ashore with the Long Range Discrimination Radar system, which provides precision metric data to improve ballistic defense discrimination. This means the system can detect incoming missiles at greater distances, while also zeroing in on multiple incoming missiles, the company said.
"Connecting these systems is more than a technological advantage -- it's a way to provide the warfighter with earlier intelligence and expanded situational awareness," Dr. Tony DeSimone, vice president and chief engineer of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors, said in a press release.
"Integration of these technologies allows us to deliver the most advanced solid state radar system in LRDR with the proven tested capability of Aegis. For the warfighter, this combination provides an increased capability, in terms of additional performance and reaction time, to safely protect the people and nations they defend."
The system also minimizes interference with civilian and military radio emitters and receivers, and has increased use with the Raytheon-produced Standard Missile-3 Block IIA Interceptor missile.
The land-based model is currently fielded in Romania, with Poland in line to be the next country to deploy the technology. Alaska is also set to receive the Long Range Discrimination Radar System in 2020.
With the success of the Aegis Ashore and Long Range Discrimination Radar systems, Lockheed will now focus on demonstrating simulated missile engagements with live tracking, the company said.
"The Aegis Combat System is adaptable and flexible to address warfighting needs, which is one of the reasons the system is so widely used around the world," said Michele Evans, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors.
"As our customers look to update their technology with the help of their industrial bases, they are increasingly choosing alternative radars to equip their platforms. In challenging threat environments, we can deliver advanced capability at lower cost if we can be flexible and connect a variety of existing technologies."