manent land installation, the Navy and Lockheed
expect it to be fairly straightforward, said Brendan
Scanlon, Lockheed’s program director of Aegis Ashore.
“Basically, what we’re doing is taking what we have
out at sea and we’re bringing it to land, and trying to
make as little changes as possible,” he said. “We are
taking that modernized capability [on DDG 113 and
later models] and we are keeping the same hardware,
so the weapon system that is going on ship is the same
existing weapon system that’s going on Aegis Ashore.”
There is one key technical challenge: the remote
launcher, which is usually right next to the system’s
array. On land, that remote launcher will have to be
some distance away.
“When you’re trying to shoot things down hundreds
of miles away with accuracy, that kind of matters,”
For the test site, the deckhouse is three and a half
miles from the launcher. In Romania, the distance will
only be about a third of a mile. However, “the launcher
itself is not right next to the deckhouse, like onboard a
ship, so you have to account for that in geometry and
physics,” Scanlon said.
The team at the test site in Hawaii is gearing up for
an important test in May involving a controlled test
vehicle where the crew will fire an SM- 3 Block 1B missile from the launcher at a simulated target.
Another difference from the ship-based version of Aegis
BMD will be the requirement that the Aegis Ashore deckhouse be relocatable. The Navy wants to be able to move
the system from one spot to another quickly, if need be.
With an aggressive schedule to work with, the Aegis
Ashore team had to be creative, and came up with 6- by
12-foot aluminum pallets to act as skids. With a complex
system like Aegis BMD, there are hundreds of pieces of
equipment and thousands of cables, so the team decided
to take as many pieces as possible and install them on 65
skids, making the system as moveable as possible.
A final hurdle involves the array itself. It takes a
while to put an array onboard a ship, but Lockheed
needed to find a way to do it much quicker.
“We weren’t afforded that luxury with our schedule,
so we developed an array frame,” Scanlon said. “We
have this frame built by a subcontractor [so that you]
just lift the array frame up and land it in the deckhouse.
We put one of these array frames in in 20 minutes.”
Most of the hard work in recent
years has been focused on tackling
the technical challenges of the sys-
tem and continuing testing, but
with deadlines fast approaching to
install the Aegis Ashore sites and
get them operational, the real work
has started overseas.
“In Romania, the site itself
they’ve started,” Scanlon said.
“They’ve broken ground and are
preparing the site for the Aegis
Ashore deckhouse as well as all the
facilities that have to go around it.
That work has already begun, but
the deckhouse itself is actually here
in Moorestown, and in that deck-
house we have a suite of equipment
that’s going to Romania.”
The team has installed everything
and tested it, and, when all is ready,
the government will send a contrac-
tor to dismantle the deckhouse and
ship it to Romania this summer,
with everything installed by the first
quarter of next year.
If all goes well, everything will be
installed by 2018 in time for the final
phase of the PAA. But, of course, the
actual timing is “up to the government,” Scanlon noted. ■
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / MARCH 2014
While the site for the Aegis Ashore facility in Romania is being prepared, the deckhouse for the system resides at Lockheed Martin’s Aegis facility in Moorestown,
N.J. The deckhouse, shown here, is expected to be dismantled and shipped to
Romania this summer, with everything installed by the first quarter of next year.