The US Missile Defense Agency has awarded Lockheed Martin a $527 million contract to upgrade the Aegis Weapon System for Guam deployment.
The upgrade comprises “Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities into an Aegis Guam System” by the end of 2027.
Guam Defense Upgrade
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in March put out its plan to upgrade the strategic island’s defense in the face of growing Chinese and North Korean missile threats.
The US territory in the western Pacific currently hosts rather limited missile and air defense in the form of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system battery and the Israeli-made Iron Dome system, which has been deployed on a temporary basis for testing and evaluation.
Guam Defense Architecture
The MDA’s envisioned air and missile defense architecture for Guam comprises a combination of multiple systems, including mobile units of the Aegis, the US Navy’s SM-3 and SM-6 missiles, the US Army’s THAAD, and the Patriot air and missile defense system.
Those systems would be connected through the Army’s Integrated Battle Command System, a command and control system that connects sensors and shooters. The MDA would also use Aegis’ fire control capability.
“Patriot [has] a fabulous capability for cruise missile defense, and that’s our first focus area,” MDA’s director Vice Adm. Jon Hill told Defense News in March.
“And we have the ability within Aegis to enable that, but, right now, we are doing ballistic missiles, hypersonic, on the Aegis part of that overall integrated architecture and then the cruise missile piece will be with the Army systems.”