The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) $260 million for Aegis Weapon Systems to equip three Australian Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) and one Spanish F-100-class frigate. The four systems will be next-generation Aegis Weapon Systems – among the first to fully utilize commercial off-the-shelf hardware and a open architecture computing environment. Production of the systems destined for Australia and Spain with be synchronized with the U.S. Navy’s Aegis modernization program, which calls for delivery of the first fully open architecture Aegis Weapon System to the USS Bunker Hill in 2008.
“Aegis Open Architecture will provide many advantages, including the opportunity to more easily integrate indigenous systems into the combat system and to reduce acquisition and certification risks and costs,” said Orlando Carvalho, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Surface/Sea- Based Missile Defense Systems business in Moorestown. “Aegis Open Architecture is already driving commonality across the United States’ surface fleet, as we are directly leveraging and reusing it in combat system development associated with the Littoral Combat Ship and the Coast Guard’s Deepwater programs.”
The contract is the latest milestone for the AWD program. Currently, the Australian government is in the process of selecting the AWD ship design in support of final program approval. The Aegis Weapon Systems Lockheed Martin will produce through this contract will support equally both of the ship designs under evaluation. Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy also contracted Lockheed Martin to produce the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) for the AWD in an identical manner, again supporting both ship designs.