Publication: The Waterline Issued: Date: 2002-12-20 Reporter: Irene Smith

Latest Ship Self Defense System Mod Tested



The Waterline
NAVSEA Public Affairs

Date 2002-12-20


Irene Smith

Web Link


Moving one step closer to operational deployment, the latest modification in the Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) program, the SSDS MK 2, Mod 1 was successfully tested Nov. 19 at Surface Combat Systems Center Wallops Island, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command. Scheduled to be installed on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the test event, sponsored by the Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, consisted of Lear aircraft flying various combat aircraft profiles to demonstrate SSDS capabilities. Each run demonstrated various functions associated with SSDS including manual, semi-auto and automatic modes of engagement, as well as a two-node Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) net between the SSDS and Aegis facilities.

"It was a good test, we saw some neat things and it was very encouraging to see the product of so many people's hard work," said Capt. J.M. Graham, SSDS Program Manager.

Designed to provide quick reaction combat capability to CVN and LPD 17-class ships, the SSDS MK 2, Mod 1 and Mod 2 incorporates the Combat Direction System command and control functionality with the CEC.

Utilizing the SLQ-32 system, the NATO Sea Sparrow Missile Systems and the Rolling Airframe (RAM) Block 1 missile, SSDS is designed to defend against anti-ship missile and aircraft attack in the cluttered littoral conflict environment where reaction times are exceedingly short.

The SSDS system correlates sensor information, assesses own-ship defense readiness and recommends optimal tactical defense responses. With enhanced target tracking, SSDS expedites the assignment of weapons for manual threat engagements and provides operators with a 'recommend engage' solution. When operating in the automatic mode, the SSDS will coordinate both soft and hard kill employment.

Constructed of commercial off-the-shelf equipment, including a fiber-optic local area network and distributed processors, SSDS MK 2, Mod 1 is the latest step in support of carrier and big deck amphibs.

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was the first ship outfitted with SSDS MK 2 in FY 2001. The amphibious assault ship San Antonio (LPD 17) will receive SSDS MK 2 Mod 2.

"This demonstrates our strong progress towards delivering a highly capable and stable system for the Reagan," said Graham. "The next step will be to complete the factory qualification test and return back to Wallops Island for more intensive testing before installation and sea trials."

With acknowledgements to Irene Smith and The Waterline.