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The Aegis Combat System is the Navy’s most modern surface combat system. It was designed as a complete system: the missile launching element, the computer programs, the radar and the displays are fully integrated to work together. This makes the Aegis system the first fully integrated combat system built to defend against advanced air and surface threats.

Aegis is deployed on both Ticonderoga Class cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class destroyers, and provides an overlapping architecture to detect, identify, and engage an incoming threat. Acting as a network of sensors, the Cooperative Engagement Capability works with Aegis to enhance situational awareness for Battle Group warfare commanders.

The first engineering development model of the Aegis system was installed on the test ship, USS Norton Sound (AVM 1) in 1973. 


Supporting AEGIS

NSWC PHD has supported the Aegis combat system since its beginning. Our workforce has been honored with many Aegis Excellence Awards for their outstanding performance.

The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office, in 2004, recognized NSWC PHD’s continued key role in the research, development, and testing of ballistic missile defense systems by presenting a Standard Missile-3 model to the command.

The SM-3, an evolution of the Standard Missile family, is a four-stage rocket launched from the Aegis Weapon System Vertical Launching System (VLS). The fourth stage - the Kinetic Warhead - is equipped with its own propulsion, a long wave infrared seeker, and a guidance and control system enabling it to acquire, track, discriminate, divert, and intercept a ballistic missile target above the earth’s atmosphere.