Raytheon fires first-of-type demo for new ship defence

Raytheon and the US Navy have successfully completed the first-ever, live-fire test of the latest generation of the Ship Self Defense System, or SSDS, Integrated Combat System on the Self Defense Test Ship.

FILE PHOTO (May 2018): Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln fires a RIM-162D Sea Sparrow missile from a NATO Sea Sparrow Surface Missile System during combat systems ship qualification trials. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacques-Laurent Jean-Gilles.

The test, conducted for USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the first of the Navy’s newest class of aircraft carriers, successfully engaged an unmanned aerial vehicle target off the coast of California.

The CVN 78 SSDS Integrated Combat System incorporates several elements including Raytheon’s:

  • Dual Band Radar: This technology searched for, located and tracked the target. DBR then provided radar illumination to the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile to support missile guidance.
  • Cooperative Engagement Capability, or CEC: The capability validated and processed the Dual Band Radar data for SSDS. CEC is responsible for providing a single, integrated air picture, fusing data from multiple sensors to improve track accuracy.
  • Ship Self Defense System: SSDS processed the CEC data, determined the appropriate engagement ranges, passed launch commands to the missile, and scheduled Dual Band Radar support for the engagement.
  • Evolved SeaSparrow Missile: The interceptor successfully engaged and defeated the target.
  • Rolling Airframe Missile: The RAM interceptor was successfully scheduled by SSDS, but not required, since the target was destroyed by the ESSM.

“The design of our Ship Self Defense System enabled seamless integration of the sensors and missiles with the CVN 78 combat system during this first-of-its-kind test, proving the ability of the system to defend our sailors,” said Mike Fabel, Raytheon’s SSDS program manager. “This integrated combat system success brings Ford [herself] one step closer to operational testing and deployment.”

Further integrated combat system live fire events will take place during subsequent developmental and operational testing planned for 2019.

 

Background on SSDS
Proven and deployed, SSDS is an open, distributed combat management system in service on US carriers and amphibious ships, including CVN, LSD, LPD, LHA and LHD classes. SSDS MK 2 is the premier self-defence system for the US Navy. SSDS is integrated with Raytheon’s Cooperative Engagement Capability for the seamless extraction and distribution of sensor-derived information. This further enhances each ship’s anti-air warfare capability through sharing of available data to all participating CEC units, improving situational awareness, increasing range, and enabling cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies.

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Brian Hartigan

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