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NEWS | April 24, 2024

Virtualized Combat System Completes Critical Navy First

By PEO Integrated Warfare Systems Public Affairs

WASHINGTON — Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) recently became the first ship running a fully virtualized Aegis Combat System to successfully intercept an air target with a missile.

Achieved during the ship's final phase of Combat System Ship Qualification Trials, this milestone marks a significant contribution to the Navy's wider effort to field a single force-level integrated combat system to all surface ships.

Reflecting on the system's development, Rear Adm. Seiko Okano, the program executive officer for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), said, “in three short years we have gone from a testbed virtualized combat system on USS Monterey (CG 61) that was not connected to the ship’s weapons to a fully virtualized system that controls all of the weapons and sensors.”

Okano added, “this huge step in quickly getting new technology into the hands of our Sailors enables both the rapid delivery of improved capabilities and provides valuable data on systems performance at sea, which we are able to roll right back into our continuous development process. My thanks to the innovative team at IWS, the NAVSEA Warfare Centers, and our industry partners—you demonstrated what is possible.”

Operational combat testing of the virtualized combat system is a critical step in moving from multiple segregated systems throughout the fleet to a single integrated combat system. 

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) began operating with a virtualized Aegis Combat System in July of 2023. In 2024, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), as well as five more ships and four land based test sites are also projected to run virtualized Aegis combat systems.

The growing number of vessels and installations running virtualized systems is part of PEO IWS efforts to accelerate transition to a single integrated combat system. It is the result of a continuing development push spearheaded by The Foundry and The Forge—respectively, the Navy’s hardware and software pipeline. These advances will drive efficiency, increase the speed of delivery, and increase system quality across all platforms.

Through these collaborative contributions PEO IWS is maintaining a world-class, worldwide deployable Navy as a first line of defense for the United States.   

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Please direct all media related queries to Alan Baribeau, NAVSEA Public Affairs, at (202) 781-3120,  



About PEO IWS  

As the Navy’s premier combat systems organization, PEO IWS is evolving our existing combat systems into the Integrated Combat System to ensure ongoing combat superiority over any adversary. PEO IWS works as a team to ensure that our Sailors needs are met by acquiring the best and most cost-effective integrated weapons systems for our ships, submarines, and aircraft, both today and in the future.  


About NAVSEA  

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is comprised of command staff, headquarters directorates, affiliated Program Executive Offices (PEOs) and numerous field activities. Together, we engineer, build, buy and maintain ships, submarines and combat systems that meet the Fleet's current and future operational requirements.