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 guided-missile
cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, 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. The
system elements 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-countermeasures 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
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
Ships, has initiated an effort to shift the Aegis weapon system from the
Navy-unique computer architecture to 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. 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 and USS Vicksburg 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 naval surface fire-support capability. Baseline 6 Phase
3 (DDGs 8590) was expected to introduce CEC, the Evolved SeaSparrow
Missile (ESSM), and a new variant of the SQQ-89 surface-ship undersea
warfare (USW) system.
Baseline 7 phase 1, for DDGs 91107, eliminates the Navy-unique computers
from the Aegis system and replaces them 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, and a range of other new warfighting
The Aegis program is pursuing an "open architecture" (OA) initiative
to transition the Aegis system to a single common baseline that will replace
the mix of baseline configurations now in the fleet. The OA work will
be derived primarily from technology insertion opportunities for the UYQ-70
processor. The introduction of new object-oriented software is expected
to eliminate the need for continuous insertions of new combat system code
to accommodate system upgrades. The OA effort also builds on previous
efforts to move toward a common command and decision architecture that
would encompass both Aegis and the ship self-defense system (SSDS) being
fielded to aircraft carriers and Wasp-class amphibious ships.
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 each 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.
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
theaterwide ballistic-missile defense capability 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. The OPEVAL-approved system
now is referred to as the Block 1 CEC.
The Navy originally planned to complete CEC deployment by 2010 aboard
aircraft carriers, Aegis cruisers and destroyers, and 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. In late 2002 Raytheon had delivered 52 systems to
the Navy based on the version 2.0 OPEVAL configuration, 41 shipboard USG-2s
and nine USG-3s, with a total anticipated buy of 120.
As a condition of a Milestone 3 full-rate production decision in early
2002, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Edward C. Aldridge directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Joint Theater
and Missile Defense Organization (JTAMDO) to develop characteristics desired
for a joint-service system. Among the characteristics identified are interoperability
with legacy combat systems; adaptabiliy with a planned open-architecture
combat system; greater bandwidth efficiency; "extensibility"
to other communications systems; connectivity among a larger number of
network nodes; higher rates of data exchange; lighter weight; and lower
The Navy in late 2002 was continuing to evaluate ways of incorporating
the JTAMDO characteristics into a next-generation Block 2 CEC. A draft
request for proposals is expected to be ready for release in mid-2003,
with a contract award in 2004.
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
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
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), developed by 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
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
and introduced other upgrades that increase the gun's velocity and power.
The new gun, already in production, will be fielded to all Arleigh Burke-class
Aegis destroyers from DDG 81 forward.
The Mk45 Mod 4 gun could be backfitted to Ticonderoga-class cruisers
as part of the cruiser conversion program. In May 2002 the NSFS program
office (PMS-529) successfully tested an ERGM rocket motor and airframe
at "proof launch" pressure (greater than tactical launch pressure)
at Yuma Proving Ground, N.M. In July 2002, the Naval Surface Warfare Center's
Dahlgren Division carried out a live-fire demonstration with the base
Mk45 five-inch ERGM gun as an element of testing of the Naval Fires Control
The Navy also is developing a new 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) for
the DD(X) family of ships. The AGS would incorporate a single 155mm gun
mounted on the main deck. The gun, served by an automated magazine, will
fire guided projectiles at a rate of 10 to 15 rounds per minute. United
Defense is leading development of a long-range land-attack projectile
(LRLAP). Through a spiral development and acquisition approach, the initial
range target of 63-100 nm for Flight 1 DD(X) will be extended for subsequent
flights. The Navy also plans eventually to field a new land-attack missile
for launch from the DD(X).
Shipboard NSFS control will be defined as a new mission area, and represented
by an architecture of systems that will encompass: (1) the Tactical Tomahawk
Weapon-Control System (TTWCS), which controls the launch of a new tactical
Tomahawk cruise missile (Block 4 Tomahawk); (2) a land-attack missile
fire-control 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
A Naval Fires Network (NFN) that will represent the overall management
architecture for time-critical targeting and time-critical strike will
integrate intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting systems
with weapons and sensors. NFN demonstrations have been carried out aboard
the sea-based laboratory Coronado (AGF 11), and the system is planned
for acquisition for aircraft carriers, LHDs, and LHAs.
Air Area Defense Commander (AADC)
The AADC, a collaborative air-defense planning system that will process
and distribute force orders to joint-service platforms, is planned for
fielding to selected Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruisers and command ships.
Prototypes have been tested successfully at developer Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory and in several fleet exercises aboard the cruiser
Shiloh, and the command ship Mount Whitney. The system will provide decision-making
support needed for the battle management command, control, communications,
computers, and intelligence architecture that will support joint air defense.
The AADC will consist of a suite of advanced computers, displays, and
advanced software algorithms. It will enable joint commanders to carry
out rapid replanning and course of action evaluations, based on the situational
awareness provided by three-dimensional tactical operations displays.
The displays provide omnidirectional views of the battlespace that incorporates
the fused data provided by tactical data links.
Prime contractor General Dynamics Advanced Technology Systems is leading
an AADC industry team of SAIC and BAE Systems, both of which are developing
the system software. In late November 2002 the Naval Sea Systems Command
awarded the team a low-rate production contract for two systems. The program,
originally planned for all command ships and CGs, has suffered from funding
constraints that reduced the planned fielding to about 18 systems, for
fielding by 2007 to CGs, command ships, and shore-based testing sites.
Additional systems also may be sought for new homeland-defense applications.
Theater Ballistic-Missile Defense
The Navy is continuing development of a sea-based mid-course TBMD capability
as an element of Ballistic Missile Defense. The sea-based missile defense
(SMD) initiative builds on extensive Navy TBMD work during the 1990s that
consisted of a two-level "upper tier" or theaterwide and "lower
tier" (area) programs. The Navy area program was terminated in December
The SMD program, like the earlier approaches, will build on the tracking
and target management capabilities of the Aegis combat systems aboard
Ticonderoga-class cruisers and on a variant of the Standard air-defense
missile, designated SM-3, which is fitted with a lightweight exo-atmospheric
projectile (LEAP). The effort is developing a hit-to-kill capability against
short- to medium-range ballistic missiles and technology needed for effectiveness
against intermediate range missiles. The hit-to-kill work is focused initially
on the mid-course phase but eventually also on the boost and terminal
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 SM-3 (RIM-161) missile, developed by Raytheon Missile Systems, is
derived from the SM-2ER Block 4 air defense missile deployed to surface
combatants. The SM-3 adds a third stage rocket motor, global positioning
system/inertial navigation system guidance section, a forward-looking
infrared (FLIR) sensor to home on its target, and the LEAP intercept vehicle.
The Aegis combat system will run the SM-3 launch algorithms
In June 2002 the program completed a nine-launch series of successful
Aegis LEAP Intercept (ALI) tests with two planned intercepts that demonstrated
that the LEAP technologies can be integrated with the SM-3 missile and
hit a target test vehicle in flight in the exo-atmosphere. The program
then shifted to testing intercepts against more capable targets and more
realistic targeting scenarios. In November 2002, the cruiser Lake Erie
(CG 70) carried out Flight Mission 4, a successful flight test of a developmental
SM-3 against a TBM target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility
The program of progressively demanding tests will continue through FM-9,
against a mix of unitary and separating targets in a variety of technology
risk-reduction efforts for ship integration, weapons controls, and battle
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 AWS-1), the Airborne Mine-Neutralization
System (AMNS), the Sonar Mine Detecting Set (AQS-20A), and the Organic
Airborne and Surface Influence Sweep (OASIS) system.
The dedicated MCM forces continue to play a vital role. The systems in
use aboard the dedicated ships are undergoing readiness assessments and
technology upgrades in support of a mid-life enhancement.
The SQQ-32 minehunting sonar, a variable-depth system now in service
aboard the MCMs and MHCs, consists of shipboard displays, a low-frequency
detection sonar built by prime contractor Raytheon, and a high-frequency
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, and high-resolution
sonar. The MNS can deliver three types of explosive charges designed to
neutralize all types of maritime mines.
Raytheon is developing the AQS-20A airborne mine-detection sonar for
rapid minefield reconnaissance and detection, localization, classification,
and identification of bottom, close-tethered, and volume mines. The Navy
plans to deploy the AQS-20A 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 2005.
The Remote Minehunting System (WLD-1) is a remotely controlled offboard
semisubmersible vehicle 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 Undersea Surface Ship Combat System on a number
of Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyers.
The ALMDS 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 2005.
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. The AMNS is now being modified for installation
aboard an MH-60S; testing is scheduled to start in 2004 and production
will start in 2005.
The OASIS 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, and a power
conditioning-and-control subsystem. Capable of being towed at speeds up
to 40 knots, it can be transported by helicopter, allowing for fast transit
to over-the-horizon operating areas. The system's magnetic component will
be about ten feet long, and 20 inches in diameter. The OASIS would be
deployed from the helicopter 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 awarded a contract to EDO Corp. in 2002 for development of a system
that will be compatible with surface craft. The engineering development
model will be tested in 2005, with production to follow in 2006.
The Office of Naval Research's Organic Mine Countermeasures program office
is pursuing new technologies that could be delivered by Navy or Air Force
aircraft or naval surface fire-support teams to defeat mines and obstacles
in the surf and beach zones. Demonstration of the new technologies is
expected to be completed late in the first quarter of FY 2004. The Navy
then will carry out an analysis of alternatives at the end of FY 2004
and start a formal acquisition program in FY 2005.
ONR is pursuing a wide range of other R&D projects to evaluate 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.
The goal of these and similar R&D efforts is to develop greater expertise
in the use of unmanned vehicles for mine warfare, and thereby avoid having
to use personnel for that mission.
The first of these untethered UUVs to be fielded will be Naval Special
Warfare's Mk14 Mod 0 Semi-Autonomous Hydrographic Reconnaissance Vehicle
(SAHRV). After a successful operational evaluation of its performance
in the very-shallow-water region, the Navy awarded a contract to Hydroid
Inc. to build and maintain the system. The SAHRV, a variant of the Remote
Environmental Monitoring Units, developed under ONR sponsorship by the
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, also will go through a product improvement
to upgrade the system's MCM and other capabilities.
SQQ-89 Surface-Ship USW 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, with more than 100 systems
in service. The Surface-Ship Undersea-Warfare Combat-Systems program office
within the Program Executive Office for Littoral and Mine Warfare 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 for production of the partially COTS SQQ-89(V)14
and the mostly COTS (V)15 systems scheduled for installation aboard Burke-class
DDGs. When the transition is complete, the system's weight and number
of Navy-unique circuit boards required are expected to be reduced significantly.
In mid-2002 the Navy awarded a contract to the company for new and upgraded
SQQ-89(V) systems Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The contract also contains options for production for Japan's Kongo-class
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 the SQQ-89 sonar application
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
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)--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
The SSDS Mk2 Mod 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. In November 2002 the Mod 1 system went through
successful testing against several target profiles at the Surface Combat
Systems Center, Wallops Island, Va. Raytheon will continue factory qualification
trials on the system prior to more demanding testing at Wallops to be
followed by ship installation and sea trials.
The SSDS Mk2 Mod 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 of shipboard air-defense
sensors and weapons with a redundant "distributed" processor
architecture and the UYQ-70 advanced display system, which is based on
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 additional radars and a "re-architectured"
NATO SeaSparrow missile system.
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.
In mid-2002 the Navy unveiled a comprehensive new vision, called Sea Power
21, that calls for dramatically new approaches to fleet operations, as
well as training and business practices. Sea Power 21, which is based
on three "pillars," designated Sea Strike, Sea Shield, and Sea
Basing, and is supported by an information-management strategy called
FORCEnet, postulates a new requirement for 375 ships--considerably more
than the approximately 310 ships now in service.
Navy officials say that new procedures introduced through a new business
management process called Sea Enterprise, as well as greater reliance
on commercial technology, will achieve significant economies in both shipbuilding
and the acquisition of new ships. The new shipbuilding target, however,
still will require additional funding.
The Navy now is proceeding with plans to build a family of advanced surface
combatants through the DD(X) program. An industry team led by Northrop
Grumman Ship Systems is leading the design effort for the DD(X) , which
is expected to incorporate an advanced gun system (AGS), an advanced land-attack
missile, an integrated electric drive ship's power and propulsion system,
a total ship computing network, and a zonal power distribution system.
Thirty DD(X) platforms were planned initially. The current plan is to
build a still-to-be determined number of ships in three or more "flights,"
introducing new capabilities incrementally through a spiral development
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.
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. Three primary missions have been
identified for the LCS: prosecuting the littoral submarine threat; counter-mine
operations; and defense against swarming boat attacks.
In November 2002 the Navy awarded short-term contracts to Bath Iron Works,
Gibbs & Cox, John J. McMullen, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and
Surveillance Systems-Baltimore, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, and Textron
for studies of LCS missions.
The rest of the surface combatant force will consist of 57 Arleigh Burke-class
DDG 51s--which, with the Navy's 27 Aegis guided-missile cruisers, will
remain the dominant warfighting ships of the 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. 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 "Smart-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. *