The Royal Australian Navy’s Aegis combat systems have received an upgrade by Lockheed Martin Australia during a recent maintenance phase in Sydney.
Two of the RAN’s three Hobart class destroyers, HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane received the upgrades to their Aegis combat systems and SPY-1D(V) radars during a period of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the newest of the three vessels, HMAS Sydney received its upgrades during its build program. The work was described as “complex” key system upgrades, and comprised the Aegis Computer Program, ‘light off’ activities, and deep system maintenance.
Because of travel restrictions with the pandemic, US-based Lockheed Martin staff were unable to fly in to oversee the upgrade, so Lockheed Martin Australia personnel worked closely with the RAN’s Fleet Support Unit, ships’ crew, and industry partners to complete the work over a three week period in May and June.
“This effort demonstrates Australia’s sustainable sovereign industrial capability in action at its best, with the global expertise performing the knowledge transfer to the local team during the program execution phase and thereby allowing sovereign talent to deliver the sustainment efforts on the ground in Australia,” Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Joe North said in a statement.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement,” he added. “Delivering multiple Aegis combat system upgrades, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, is a testament of genuine partnerships and teamwork at play and reaffirms our resolute commitment to delivering on the Royal Australian Navy’s mission-critical priorities for the Hobart class destroyers.”
The Aegis combat system is also planned to be installed on the RAN’s nine planned Hunter class frigates, and will be integrated with CEA air defence radars and other sensors.
Updated July 9: In a written response to questions from ADBR, Lockheed Martin Australia’s Lead Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors, Rob Milligan said, “Aegis Baseline 8 is currently on the Hobart Class Guided DDGs, but we anticipate from mid-decade that the DDGs will be upgraded to Aegis Baseline 9 under the (Project) SEA 4000 Phase 6 program.”