Integrated Combat Systems|
By EDWARD J. WALSH
Edward J. Walsh is the editor of Naval Systems Update.
Aegis Combat System
The Aegis combat system, fielded to Ticonderoga-class (CG 47) guided-missile cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided-missile destroyers, is considered by many to be the greatest success ever achieved in the fields of systems engineering and systems integration of surface combatants. The overall system consists of three primary elements: the SPY-1 phased-array radar, the Aegis weapons control system (WCS), and the command and decision (C&D) system, all of which function in a highly integrated manner to provide area-wide surveillance, detection, and engagement of airborne threats.
The AN/SPY-1 is a computer-controlled, four-faced, phased-array radar that rapidly transitions detections into tracks and passes them to the C&D system element for engagement decisions and further processing. The SPY-1A and SPY-1B Aegis radars use two transmitters linked to four phased-array antennas, each of which emits an electronically controlled beam across a 110-degree field.
The SPY-1A, the first variant, was fielded to Baseline 1 (CGs 47 to 51) and Baseline 2 (CGs 52 to 58) ships. Baseline 3 (CGs 59 to 64) and Baseline 4 (CGs 65 to 73) cruisers received the SPY-1B, which incorporates improved antennas and electronic counter-countermeasure and improves performance against low-flying antiship missiles (ASMs).
The SPY-1D, installed on DDG 51, is virtually identical to the SPY-1B, but has only one transmitter. The SPY-1D(V) radar, a littoral upgrade to the SPY-1D, adds a new repertoire of clutter-cancellation waveforms and better sensitivity to allow better low-flyer detection and clutter suppression.
The Aegis weapon system has been upgraded regularly to incorporate new weapons, sensors, and threat profiles. A critical Navy priority in recent years has been the upgrading of fleet defense capabilities against ASMs approaching at sea-skimming altitudes.
The Aegis program office, PMS-400, under the Program Executive Officer for Theater Surface Combatants (PEO TSC), has initiated an effort to shift the Aegis weapon system from the Navy-unique MILSPEC (military specifications) architecture of UYK-7 and UYK-43 computers to a processing architecture based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology.
The COTS insertion begins with Baseline 6 Phase 1, which introduces the UYQ-70 advanced processing and display system, a family of new COTS-based displays that also provides some processing capability. Baseline 6 Phase 1 also marks the transition from a traditional point-to-point architecture to an architecture based on local area networks (LANs); the Aegis Mk6 display system will be configured in a LAN architecture.
Baseline 6 Phase 1 is being fielded in three variants. One variant has been installed aboard the cruisers USS Hue City (CG 66) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69) to support integration testing with the cooperative engagement capability (CEC). The second variant, fielded to DDGs 79 and 80, incorporates the UYQ-70 display console for the command table in the CIC (combat information center). Version 3 of Baseline 6 Phase 1, which introduces a full-up architecture of UYQ-70s, is fielded to DDGs 81 through 84.
Beginning with DDG 81, Baseline 6 Phase 1 ships will be fitted out with the Navy's latest in naval surface fire-support capability, provided in part by the Naval Fires Control System (NFCS) and a new Mk45 Mod 4 shipboard 5-inch 62-caliber deck gun capable of firing the Extended-Range Guided Munition (ERGM).
Baseline 6 Phase 3 (DDGs 85-90) was expected to introduce the Navy area TBMD capability, CEC, Standard Missile Block 4A, the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), and a new variant of the SQQ-89 surface-ship antisubmarine warfare (ASW) system, designated (V)14. The Navy's area-wide missile-defense system was cancelled on 14 December, though (see box). The effect on other Navy programs is not yet certain.
Baseline 7 phase 1, for DDGs 91107, eliminates the UYK-43 from the Aegis system and replaces it with COTS-based microprocessors. Baseline 7 Phase 1 DDGs will be fitted out with the SPY-1D(V) radar, which has been designed for enhanced detection over land and littoral waters and in high jamming environments. Baseline 7 Phase 1 ships also will receive the SQQ-89(V)15, a fully COTS variant, the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS) beginning with DDG 96, the WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System, and the Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System, beginning with DDG 102.
Baseline 7 Phase 1C will support the first installment of the Navy's plan for cruiser conversions, which will encompass a range of "core" upgrades for combat systems, battle management/C4I (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence), and force-protection systems for all four cruiser baselines. It also will provide specific land-attack and TBMD (theater ballistic missile defense) enhancements for hull Baselines 1 and 4, and Navy Theaterwide TBMD for the Baseline 2 and 3 ships. The Navy envisions the conversion plan to be implemented initially in FY 2006.
Aegis prime contractor Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems completed development of Baseline 6 Phase 3 software in late summer 2001. The software has been delivered to the Navy's Surface Combat Systems Center at Wallops Island, Va., for testing.
A key element of the Aegis upgrade program is transitioning the Aegis system from obsolescent Navy-proprietary software code written in the CMS-2 language to an "open" architecture of so-called "object-oriented" commercially developed software modules that the Navy hopes will insulate it to some degree from the need to continuously insert new code through a technology refresh process. The Navy has been evaluating several future budget options for funding a software transition initiative that also would allow it to continue with planned baseline upgrades.
Cooperative Engagement Capability
"Cooperative engagement" will allow large numbers of CEC-equipped surface ships and aircraft to participate in an air-defense network that would enable them to share fire-control-quality radar target measurements in real time.
The CEC system features two primary components--a cooperative-engagement processor (CEP) and a data-distribution system (DDS), which acts as the CEC communications relay--and a series of modifications to already-fielded combat systems. The CEP and DDS both are built by Raytheon Systems Company.
In CEC operations, radar measurement information on airborne targets is passed from shipboard air-search radars to the CEP, which reformats the data and sends it to the DDS. The DDS then encrypts and transmits the data to other ships (referred to as CUs) participating in the CEC network. In a fraction of a second, the DDS receives all other CU data and forwards it to the CEP. The CEP combines all of the unprocessed sensor-measurement data into one air picture, identical for all platforms in the network. The same picture then is available for display and use by each individual platform's sensor and engagement systems.
The CEC enables ties achievable by the participation of multiple ships equipped with multiple types of sensors throughout the operating area, thereby enhancing the ability of the CEC-equipped ship to track and destroy incoming ASMs. CEC also provides a capability, referred to as "engage on remote," whereby a ship that does not originate the tracking data can launch missiles at targets within the weapons range identified in the CEC composite track picture.
The Navy plans to complete CEC deployment by 2010 aboard aircraft carriers, Aegis cruisers and destroyers, selected classes of amphibious ships (LHDs, LHAs, LSD 41s, and LPD 17s), and on E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. The shipboard CEC hardware suite is designated USG-2; the airborne system is the USG-3.
CEC is expected to provide sensor control, display control, composite tracking, and doctrine management for a new architecture designated the Mk2 SSDS (Ship Self-Defense System) and planned for aircraft carriers, Wasp-class LHDs, and the new San Antonio-class LPDs. Raytheon also is continuing development of CEC software Baseline 2.1, which will be integrated with the Mk2 SSDS (mod 1).
Because it will provide real-time exchange of fire-control-quality data, CEC also has been considered a prerequisite for introduction of the Navy's area and theaterwide ballistic-missile defense capabilities aboard Ticonderoga-class CGs and Arleigh Burke-class DDGs.
The CEC system, based on software version 2.0, successfully completed operational evaluation (OPEVAL) in May 2001. Following Defense Acquisition Board approval for the start of full-rate production, the Navy expects to award a sole-source production contract to Raytheon for a mix of USG-2 and USG-3 systems based on the OPEVAL system configuration, after which it would seek competitive industry proposals for future CEC systems that would provide additional capabilities.
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronic & Surveillance Systems in Moorestown, N.J., is acting as design agent for CEC Baseline 2.2, which will provide the connectivity needed for TBMD operations.
The Army also is expected to field CEC to link its Patriot air-defense system to joint-service CEC networks. The Marine Corps will employ another CEC version, designated CTN (composite tracking network), for both real-time air defense as a participant in the CEC net, and expects to distribute CEC data using tactical communications systems to ground units to improve situational awareness. The Air Force also has evaluated CEC for its AWACS aircraft.
The Navy, the other services, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization also continue to discuss the feasibility of evolving the Navy's CEC into a joint composite tracking network (JCTN) that would provide the single integrated air picture (SIAP) required for fully integrated air-defense systems that could be deployed against a broad range of airborne threats, including TBMs. No service sponsor has been designated for the JCTN.
Naval Surface Fire Support
The Navy has initiated a program to dramatically improve its naval surface fire support (NSFS) capabilities to better support Marine and Army forces ashore. The NSFS program now is managed within the Program Executive Office for Surface Strike (PEO(S)), which will develop systems both for the current fleet and for the Navy's future surface combatants.
The Navy's current NSFS capabilities are limited to the Mk45 5-inch gun installed on Navy cruisers and destroyers. The Mk45 fires conventional projectiles to a maximum range of only 13 nautical miles, and with less-than-acceptable accuracy.
The Navy's near-term core program focuses on upgrading the 5-inch 54-caliber Mk45 gun on its cruisers and destroyers to fire the new extended-range guided munition (ERGM) now in engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) at Raytheon Systems Company. The rocket-assisted ERGM will be guided by a global positioning system/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS) guidance system, and will have a maximum range nearly five times the range of the currently fielded five-inch projectiles. To achieve that range requires not only the use of an inflight rocket motor but also a more energetic gun (to fire the projectile with a higher muzzle velocity).
Under a contract from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), United Defense Armament Systems has modified the 5-inch gun to a Mk45 Mod 4 configuration by lengthening the gun's 54-caliber (22.5 feet) barrel to 62 calibers (25.8 feet) and redesigning the oscillating assembly to accommodate the firing energies created by 18 megajoules of power--nearly double the 9.8 megajoules of the 54-caliber gun. The new gun, already in production, will be fielded to all Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers from DDG 81 forward. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division in Indian Head, Md., is developing a larger propelling charge.
The ERGM is scheduled to reach operational capability in 2005. The Mk45 Mod 4 gun also could be backfitted to Ticonderoga-class cruisers as part of the cruiser conversion program.
The Navy also had been planning to develop a new 155mm gun to further enhance the NSFS capabilities of the Zumwalt-class (DD 21) land-attack destroyer before the DD 21 program was changed in November 2001 to the DD(X) program. The Advanced Gun System (AGS), as it is called, is continuing in development for the family of ships expected to emerge from the DD(X) program. The AGS would use a single 155mm gun mounted on the main deck. The gun, served by an automated magazine, would pump out 155mm guided projectiles at a rate of 10 to 15 rounds per minute.
The Navy also plans to acquire a supersonic Advanced Land-Attack Missile. The two leading candidates are a naval version of the Lockheed Martin Vought Systems Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which would have a range of 165 nautical miles, and a variant of the SM-2 Standard Block 3 air-defense missile, which could reach about 150 nautical miles.
Shipboard NSFS control will be defined as a new mission area, and represented by an architecture of systems called the TLN, which stands for TTWCS, Land Attack, Missile Fire Control System, and Naval Fires Control System. The TLN architecture consists of: (1) the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon-Control System (TTWCS), which controls the launch of a new tactical variant of the Tomahawk cruise missile, also called the Block 4 Tomahawk; (2) a land-attack missile fire-control (LAM FC) system to support the launch of other land-attack missiles; and (3) an NFCS to provide mission planning and execution for guns and land-attack missiles. The LAM FC and NFCS both will be integrated with the TTWCS. The Navy hopes to field the TLN architecture beginning in FY 2004.
Theater Ballistic-Missile Defense
The Navy's TBMD program is aimed at providing a defense against enemy theater ballistic missiles--now in the inventories of an estimated 15 nations and continuing to proliferate worldwide. More than 25 nations are believed to own or be capable of developing nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons that could be deployed from TBMs.
Navy TBMD is based on enhancements to the Aegis combat system now deployed on the Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided-missile cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyers, as well as on the surface-to-air SM-2 Standard Missiles launched from the Mk41 vertical launching system. The Navy program was expected to consist of: (a) the now-cancelled "lower-tier" or area-defense system, which was being designed to engage and destroy TBMs within the earth's atmosphere during the descent phase of their trajectory; and (b) an "upper-tier" or theater-wide system designed for use against missiles at "exoatmospheric" altitudes--i.e., beyond the atmosphere during ascent as well as descent phases.
The unique value provided by a Navy TBMD system is that, in addition to the considerable savings achieved by building on the Aegis platforms and systems already fielded, it would be sea-based. The use of Aegis ships would avoid the logistic constraints, support costs, and foreign basing issues associated with a shore-based system, which would have to be transported into a potential combat theater via sealift or airlift. Also, the inherent mobility of naval assets provides theater commanders flexibility in their planning for both land- and sea-based TBMD systems. Sea-based TBMD capabilities would leverage the inherent geographic advantages already provided by forward deployment of Aegis ships, which could provide the capability to detect, identify, and engage TBMs long before they come within range of defensive systems in closer geographic proximity to their targets.
The Navy Area TBMD system was expected to engage short- to medium-range TBMs. The Navy Theater Wide (NTW) TBMD system will be capable--when linked to sea-, land-, and space-based sensors--of intercepting TBMs in the ascent phase long before they overfly their targets, which may or may not be defended by land-based TBMD systems.
The Navy's lower-tier area system also would have included guidance upgrades to the SM-2 Block IV missile to produce a Block IVA missile fitted with an infrared (IR) seeker for the precise targeting of a TBM's IR signature as it reenters the atmosphere. A new RF adjunct sensor would provide accurate range and range-rate data. The guidance unit would consolidate the IR data with radar data. Raytheon Systems Company is the prime contractor on both variants of the SM-2. A Developmental Test Round (DTR) of the SM-2 Block IVA was fired in 1997 and successfully intercepted a Lance missile target.
The Navy area system also would include radar and command-and-control changes in the Aegis combat system to enable the tracking and engagement of TBMs. The planned changes included the addition of a linear search track processor (LSTP) in the radar and several adjunct processors throughout the combat system to support the engagement of the higher-speed, longer-range TBM threat. A developmental version of a TBM-capable combat system, named Linebacker, has been installed on and tested by the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and USS Port Royal (CG 73). Both ships have participated in numerous TBM test events since 1998.
The Navy Theater Wide system is based on the use of a kinetic warhead (KW) that destroys targets on impact (rather than by the explosive force of a fragmenting warhead). The KW, being developed by the contractor team of Raytheon and Boeing North American, will be fitted to the NTW variant of the SM-2, designated the SM-3 Block 1 Missile. The KW will incorporate a solid fuel divert and attitude-control rocket motor, and will use a long-wave infrared focal-plane array for target acquisition and discrimination as well as final guidance.
The SM-3 missile will be powered through two propulsion stages by the Mk72 booster and the Mk104 dual-thrust rocket motor. The Mk136 dual-pulse third-stage rocket motor provides additional velocity and reduces miss-distance to enable the KW to achieve an intercept.
Between 1992 and 1995 the Navy demonstrated critical technologies for its theater-wide program during at-sea flight testing using a modified Terrier missile, also known as Terrier-LEAP (Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile). Following an analysis of the Terrier-LEAP tests, and a review of the recommendations of several Ballistic Missile Defense Organization panels, the Navy was directed to continue its development of a theater-wide TBMD capability.
The initial phase, called Aegis LEAP Intercept (ALI), will consist of a series of exoatmospheric intercept flight tests demonstrating the integration of the Standard Missile and Aegis weapon systems to intercept a target outside the earth's atmosphere.
ALI flight tests at sea began in September 1999. The first, CTV-1A, demonstrated successful airframe stability at second-to-third-stage separation and transition to exoatmospheric flight. The missile, fired from USS Shiloh (CG 67), was also the first launch of the SM-3 missile and carried an inert third-stage rocket motor and a mass mockup of the kinetic warhead.
Command and control for Navy TBMD will be provided by an integrated C4ISR (command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) architecture that will link all joint-service theater-wide C4ISR assets, including fleet combat-direction systems, tactical data links, the Navy's CEC systems, and fleet and joint-service HF, UHF, VHF, and satellite communications systems. The joint-service TBMD concept is based on a three-tier data-management architecture, still being developed, that consists of a Joint Planning Net (JPN), Joint Data Net (JDN), and Joint Composite Tracking Net (JCTN).
The JPN consists of non-real-time theater-wide C4I capabilities. The JDN will rely primarily on tactical data links that link command-and-control platforms with weapons platforms such as Aegis ships (or Army or Air Force systems). The JCTN represents the real-time linkage of systems such as CEC for the transfer of weapons-engagement data. Continued development of the architecture depends heavily on the success of the efforts, now underway, of the individual services, to achieve joint-weapons and C4I interoperability.
The Navy Area TBMD program entered engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) in February 1997. The NTW program is comprised of two principal efforts. The first is the continued testing and completion of the ALI program. Success in ALI will lead to system design and development for a contingency NTW capability in the FY 2004 to FY 2005 time frame that could be used in a real-world emergency. The second principal NTW effort is a concept-definition phase that will focus on developing a more capable system for deployment in the FY 2008-2010 timeframe. Contractor studies will be initiated in FY 2002 to develop innovative system concepts that will maximize the use of known and already deployed technologies as well as new technologies expected to be available in the deployment time frame. In addition, risk-reduction activities (RRAs) will be conducted to increase the technology readiness levels (TRLs) of key technologies in the areas of ship integration, weapons control, radar suite, missile, launcher, and battle management/command and control (BMC2).
The Navy introduced a plan two years ago to augment the organic mine-countermeasures (MCM) capabilities of carrier battle groups (CVBGs). The goal of the plan--which followed a year-long "Force 21" study of the optimum mix of dedicated and CVBG-organic MCM assets--is to enable the CVBGs to carry out a larger share of MCM operations, using battle-group assets, prior to the arrival of slower-moving Avenger-class MCMs (mine-countermeasures ships) and Osprey-class MHCs (coastal minehunters).
The primary organic MCM assets planned for CVBGs are the Remote Minehunting System (RMS, a remotely operated vehicle) and the MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter, a marinized Army Black Hawk helicopter scheduled to be deployed on carriers, amphibious assault ships, and oilers. The MH-60 will be fitted with the AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine-Detection System (ALMDS), the Rapid Airborne Mine-Clearance System (RAMICS), the Airborne Mine-Neutralization System (AMNS), an AQS-20X sonar, and the organic airborne and surface influence sweep (OASIS) system.
The Navy also is developing new minehunting systems and enhancing older ones. The SQQ-32 minehunting sonar, a variable-depth system, now in service aboard the Avenger MCMs and Osprey MHCs, consists of shipboard displays, a low-frequency detection sonar built by Raytheon (the prime contractor), and a high-frequency classification sonar built by Thomson Sintra ASM. Both sonars are housed in the towed sonar body. In minehunting operations, the detection sonar searches for "mine-like" objects. The classification sonar then provides a high-resolution acoustic image of the object or objects detected. The SQQ-32 also can be deployed from the ship itself in shallow waters.
The SLQ-48 Mine-Neutralization System consists of two shipboard consoles and a remotely operated electro-hydraulic submersible mine-neutralization vehicle (MNV) equipped with a low-light TV camera, high-resolution sonar, and the ability to deliver three types of explosive charges designed to neutralize all types of maritime mines.
The AQS-20X airborne mine-detection sonar is being developed by Raytheon Electronic Systems for rapid minefield reconnaissance and detection, localization, and classification of bottom, close-tethered, and volume mines. The Navy plans to deploy the AQS-20X from MH-60S helicopters. Work started in mid-1999 on design and development of a laser-based identification sensor, a Knighthawk-compatible airborne operator station, and removable mission-interface hardware. Production on the entire system is scheduled to begin in 2003.
The Remote Minehunting System, designated WLD-1, is a remotely controlled offboard semisubmersible with a variable-depth-sensor body used to detect, localize, and identify mines. The RMS--developed by Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems--Undersea Systems--will be integrated with the Navy's SQQ-89 surface-ship sonar system on Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyers, and also will be fielded on future classes of surface ships.
The Airborne Laser Mine-Detection System is expected to provide rapid and cost-effective detection, classification, and localization of floating and near-surface moored sea mines. An electro-optic system, it will represent the first new mine-hunting technology delivered for U.S. Navy fleet use since the introduction of sonar. The Navy awarded an EMD contract to Northrop Grumman, Melbourne, Fla., in FY 2000 to build two production-representative Engineering Development Models (EDMs) to be tested in 2003. Production is set to begin in 2004.
The AMNS is a remotely operated expendable neutralization device that will be used by helicopters to neutralize--with explosives--moored and volume sea mines that are impractical or unsafe to counter through existing mine-disposal techniques. A minehunting sonar or electro-optic system will be used for mine detection, localization, and classification prior to the neutralization mission. The AMNS will be flown to the mine location, where it will deploy its expendable neutralization vehicle to reacquire the target and emplace a self-contained bulk or shaped charge at the most effective position to neutralize the threat mine. The AMNS is now being modified for installation aboard an MH-60S; testing is scheduled to start in 2003 and production will start shortly thereafter.
The OASIS, a self-contained system, is designed to carry out high-speed magnetic or magnetic/acoustic influence minesweeping missions in shallow waters. It consists of a towed magnetic and acoustic source, a tow/power delivery cable, a power conditioning-and-control subsystem, and an external or palletized power supply. Capable of being towed at speeds up to 40 knots--which provides for a large area-coverage rate--it can be transported by helicopter, allowing for fast transit to over-the-horizon operating areas. The system's magnetic component is ten feet long, 20 inches in diameter, and weighs approximately 1,000 pounds. The OASIS would be deployed, by a standard tow cable, from the helicopter carrying it when the helicopter reaches the area of operation. It will be compatible with current and future acoustic sweeping devices and will require no new equipment to interface with the helicopter. The Navy plans to award an EMD contract for OASIS in the very near future, aiming at development of a system that will be compatible with surface craft and remotely controlled vehicles. The prototype will be tested in 2003, with production to follow.
The Shallow-water Assault Breaching (SABRE) system and distributed explosive technology (DET) programs are under development at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) facility in Indian Head, Md., and at the NSWC Coastal Systems Station in Panama City, Fla.
The SABRE is a single rocket-deployed linear demolition charge; the DET is a dual rocket-deployed explosive net. Both systems are launched from the deck of an air-cushion landing craft (LCAC) operating in the surf near the beach. SABRE neutralizes mines and light obstacles in 310 feet of water; DET neutralizes mines in the 03-feet water depth.
One LCAC can carry two DETs on the bow and nine SABREs behind it, or 12 SABREs and no DETs. Several successful tests have been conducted with these systems, including multiple flights of inert systems from LCACs at sea and live-explosive system flights from land into a test pond. Inert SABRE- and DET-type systems launched from longer ranges by larger rockets, a computerized fire-control system, and deployment of a beach-zone array net from a glider for mine neutralization on the beach also have been developed and tested under an Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program.
The Office of Naval Research's Organic Mine Countermeasures Program Office is pursuing a wide range of other R&D projects evaluating the use of commercially developed unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) for shallow- and surf-zone mine detection and clearance. In late 2000 ONR funded demonstrations of several UUVs fitted with commercial sensors for use in finding mines. Among the UUVs tested were a semi-autonomous hydrographic reconnaissance vehicle (SAHRV), an 80-pound vehicle developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. ONR also evaluated the Cetus II, a 54-inch-long, 120-pound hovering UUV developed by Perry Technologies, a Lockheed Martin Company. The goal of these and similar R&D efforts is to develop a greater degree of expertise in the use of unmanned vehicles for mine warfare, and thereby avoid having to use humans in that dangerous mission.
SQQ-89 Surface-Ship ASW System
The SQQ-89 USW system represents the integration of the active/passive SQS-53C hull-mounted sonar, the SQQ-28 sonobuoy processor, and the SQR-19 passive towed-array sonar for Ticonderoga-class (CG 47) guided-missile cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class and Spruance-class destroyers. The SQS-53C is a system enhancement to the SQS-26 hull-mounted active sonar introduced in the 1960s. The SQQ-28 manages the downlinking of acoustic data provided by sonobuoys deployed from SH-60B Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) Mk III ASW helicopters. The SQR-19 has been eliminated from the system for the later Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyers.
The SQQ-89 has been fielded in numerous variants that provide different levels of capability to several ship classes. The Program Executive Office for Mine and Undersea Warfare (PEO MUW/PMS-411--the Surface-Ship Undersea-Warfare Combat-Systems program office) is working to transition the system from the current-generation computing architecture of Navy proprietary hardware and software to an open architecture of COTS processors and local area networks. The shift to COTS is aimed primarily at reducing acquisition and life-cycle costs while allowing improvements to current levels of performance.
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems--Undersea Systems is under contract to PMS-411 for production of the partially COTS SQQ-89(V)14 and the mostly COTS SQQ-89(V)15 systems scheduled for installation aboard Burke-class DDGs. When the transition is complete, the system's weight is expected to drop from about 47,200 pounds for the (V)14 to 38,200 pounds for the (V)15; the number of MILSPEC circuit boards will be slashed from 2,560 to three. The first SQQ-89(V)15 will be installed on DDG 91 starting in the spring of 2002.
The SQQ-89A(V)15, the newest backfit variant of the system, replaces the SQQ-19 passive receive array with the Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA). It also provides a better torpedo defense segment, improved active reverberation rejection, and upgraded operator displays. A(V)15 software is hosted using a portable middleware layer so that next-generation COTS hardware can be introduced into the SQQ-89 without rewriting of the SQQ-89 sonar application code.
Ship Self-Defense System
The Navy is fielding the highly automated Ship Self-Defense System to aircraft carriers and to the Whidbey Island, Wasp, and San Antonio classes of amphibious assault ships. The SSDS is designed to provide a rapid-reaction anti-air defense capability against the high-speed, low-flying antiship missiles now in the inventories of many potentially hostile nations. Raytheon Naval & Maritime Integrated Systems is the prime contractor and systems integrator.
The SSDS program was restructured in late 1998 to produce a new system, designated the SSDS Mk2, with the goal of achieving a higher level of overall interoperability among combat-systems elements than was possible with the previous configuration.
The new SSDS architecture will be based on the integration of the SSDS Mk1 system, already installed aboard the Whidbey Island-class amphibs. The SSDs Mk1, the first combat system based on a distributed open-system processing architecture to be installed on Navy ships, is based primarily on the use of commercially developed processing and network technology.
The SSDS Mk2 system will be fielded in three variants. A unique configuration, designated Block 0, has been installed on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The Block 0 system will interface with CEC systems and will use functions of an older combat system--the Block 1 Advanced Combat Direction System (ACDS), built with a now obsolescent Navy-unique UYK-43 computer architecture--for command support, air control, tactical datalink control, and other functions. The ACDS will be phased out beginning with Mk2 SSDS Block 1 units in the fleet as SSDS Mk2 is installed. The Navy expects to complete certification testing of the SSDS Block 0 by July 2002.
The SSDS Mk2 Block 1 system, which is considered the "foundation" system, is being designed for the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and subsequently will be installed on the Navy's other carriers and the Wasp-class amphibs. The SSDS Mk2 Block 2 configuration is targeted for the San Antonio-class LSDs. The Block 2 will differ from the Block 1 primarily in the number of weapon and sensor interfaces.
The Mk1 and Mk2 systems are based on the integration--by means of a fiber-optic local area network (LAN)--of shipboard air-defense sensors and weapons with a redundant "distributed" processor architecture and the UYQ-70 advanced display system, which is based on COTS technology.
In the SSDS architecture, each weapon and sensor incorporated into the system is linked to a LAN access unit (LAU). The LAUs are networked with the SSDS LAN and to the display suite, which includes a three-position command table. The display suite and the command table are based on the UYQ-70 display processor.
The SSDS Mk1 weapons configuration consists of the RIM-116A Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM Block 0 or Block 1) and the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), both of which are used for terminal defense against antiship missiles. The SSDS Mk1 sensor configuration consists of the SLQ-32 electronic warfare system, the SPS-49A, the SPS-67, and the Phalanx radars. The SSDS Mk2 configuration with CEC adds more sensors, the SPQ-9B horizon-search radar, the SPS-73 surface-search radar, and the SPS-48E air-search radar. The Mk2 system also incorporates a "re-architectured" NATO SeaSparrow missile system.
The SSDS Mk2 will be capable of incorporating additional sensors and weapons, or system upgrades, by adding new LAUs. In effect, the SSDS architecture reflects a building-block concept for extendibility. The SSDS provides the systems integration needed to dramatically reduce the time required for the target detection, identification, tracking, and engagement sequence. The system has been designed to operate under manual control, semiautomatic control, or fully automatic control.
Surface Combatant Modernization
The Navy plans a dramatic long-term modernization of its surface combatant force over the next 20 years that will position it to be an essential player in future joint-service U.S. operations overseas, where Navy ships are likely to be used more frequently than in the past to support land campaigns in regional conflicts.
The 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) postulated a requirement for a Navy of at least 300 ships, including 12 aircraft carriers, 50 attack submarines, 14 strategic ballistic-missile submarines, and 116 surface combatants. The 2001 QDR, released at the end of September 2001, did not spell out a specific force goal, but noted that the fleet then included 12 carriers, 55 attack submarines, and 108 active-force surface combatants.
Navy officials have said that current sea-service mission requirements now require a fleet of 360 ships, a number that would require construction of 12 ships per year. The FY 2002 budget request, however, sought funds for only six ships, and the FY 2001 request funded only seven ships.
In late June 2001, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that he understands that the Navy currently is on a downward glide path to a fleet of only about 230 ships in the near future, a force level he said is unacceptable. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark, in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee in June 2001, said that the Navy "faces significant readiness shortfalls," and pointed out that many ships in the current fleet "are nearing the end of their service lives."
Navy officials have said that the reduced size of the surface fleet will be at least partially offset by production of newer and more capable ships. However, in November 2001 the Navy dropped its former plan to build a new Zumwalt (DD 21) class of land-attack destroyers following criticism by Defense Department panels that the DD 21 would not adequately fit the DOD goals for defense "transformation."
Instead, the Navy now plans to build a family of advanced surface combatants through a new "DD(X)" program that is expected to incorporate many of the new technologies developed through the DD 21 program, including an advanced gun system (AGS), an advanced land-attack missile, an integrated electric drive ship's power and propulsion system, and a zonal power distribution system.
The DD(X) initiative is expected to lead to development of a new "CG(X)" cruiser that will be configured primarily for the TBMD mission. No program schedule has been established for the CG(X), which would be armed with the Navy TBMD weapons and sensors and with the battle management command and control systems being developed for Ticonderoga-class Aegis Baseline 2 and 3 cruisers.
As an adjunct to the DD(X) program, the Navy now also plans to develop a "littoral combat ship" (LCS), a small combatant designed primarily for antisurface warfare and equipped with a spectrum of mine countermeasures systems. The LCS concept-development effort is expected to incorporate technologies and systems validated through extensive research and development by the Office of Naval Research on small high-speed multimission ships.
The Navy still plans to build a total of 57 Arleigh Burke-class DDG 51s--which, with the Navy's 27 Aegis guided-missile cruisers, will be the mainstays of the surface combatant fleet, and the dominant ships in that fleet, until well beyond 2020.
Capitalizing on the anti-air warfare (AAW) growth capabilities resident in its Aegis cruisers and destroyers, the Navy initiated efforts in the early 1990s to add TBMD capabilities to those ships early in the 21st century. The Navy also is now developing new shipboard land-attack weapons for its Aegis ships to improve their ability to provide long-range, high-volume fire support for Marine and Army forces ashore. Meanwhile, antisubmarine warfare remains a high priority for the surface fleet, and new multimission surface combatants still will represent a dominant sea-control force.
An extensive cruiser conversion program, encompassing both combat systems and ship-machinery upgrades, is scheduled for 22 of the 27 Ticonderogas to ensure that their combat systems remain capable of integrating new weapons, sensors, and computer technology for many years to come. The conversions, now scheduled to start in 2006, will include the introduction of "Smart Ship" technology and probably some components of the previously planned area-air defense capability (AADC) suite that would enable the cruisers to operate as joint air defense planning centers.
Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures System
The Naval Air Systems Command is developing an Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) system planned for installation primarily aboard the Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter. A central element of the IDECM suite is a radio-frequency countermeasures (RFCM) system designated the ALQ-214.
The IDECM/RFCM, which also may be purchased by the Air Force for its B-1B bomber and F-15E Strike Eagle fighter, will fill the gap in electronic-warfare (EW) capability created by the termination, in the early 1990s, of a Navy program to develop an ALQ-165 jammer to replace the aging ALQ-126B EW system.
On the F/A-18E/F the IDECM/RFCM is required to be capable of responding automatically, without being cued by the pilot, to detect any threat emitters. The system will consist both of newly developed components and EW hardware currently in service, integrated with new software developed by BAE Systems. The RFCM system will be integrated with the aircraft's ALR-67(V)3 radar-warning receiver, mission computer, and decoy launch controller.
Raytheon's Sensors and Electronic Systems business unit builds the improved launch controller, which controls the launch of decoys from the T3F decoy launcher.
The IDECM/RFCM suite also integrates two other systems: the Advanced Strategic-Tactical Expendable (ASTE) kinematic decoy being developed for the Air Force by BAE Systems; and the Common Missile-Warning System (CMWS), a subsystem of the Advanced Tactical Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system being built for the Army.
The RFCM combines a state-of-the-art onboard techniques generator and an offboard fiber-optic towed decoy; the latter will be fitted with a transmitter that emits a jamming signal to counter enemy emitters, including radars and missile seekers.
BAE Systems is acting as prime contractor and systems integrator for the IDECM/RFCM program and is responsible for the offboard fiber-optic towed decoy and the decoy subsystem. ITT Avionics is building the onboard techniques generator component of the system, which consists of the receiver, modulator, processor, and onboard transmitters.
The IDECM/RFCM successfully completed an operational assessment in March 2000 and was determined to be operationally effective.
Developmental flight testing is continuing at the Naval Air Weapons Center in China Lake, Calif., and at the Naval Air Weapons Center at Patuxent River, Md. BAE Systems was awarded a contract for limited-rate initial production in March 2000. The onboard components of the program are scheduled to enter operational evaluation (OPEVAL) in the spring of 2002. The towed decoy is planned to enter OPEVAL in FY 2004. *