Around the world, navy ships protect national security by being the first line of response in forward-presence and power-projection missions. Naval forces must be able to sail “in harms way” and survive. Anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), such as the subsonic (Mach 0.9) and supersonic (Mach 2+) low altitude missiles, are the principle air threats in the U.S. and in many other countries. They are lethal— highly capable of destroying naval surface ships. Detection, tracking, assessment and weapon engagement decisions to combat these air threats must be made quickly from the time of detection to weapon engagement.
Raytheon’s Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS) is an open, distributed combat management system for surface ships designed to expedite the detect-to-engage sequence to defend against ASCMs. SSDS links and automates standalone sensors and weapon systems to provide the required combat reaction. A fiber optic local area network (LAN) connects ship sensors and weapon systems to:
- Coordinate sensor integration
- Identify and evaluate potential threats
- Assess readiness of ship defenses
- Execute specific tactical procedures.
While SSDS incorporates a high degree of automation through computerized embedded doctrine, the system also allows the commanding officer to maintain positive control over selected doctrine and weapons release.
SSDS is designed for use in aircraft carriers and expeditionary ships. In operation for over a decade, SSDS is fielded on four classes — LSD, CVN, LPD and LHD — and will be available on LHA class ships in the future. SSDS is in service on USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz, USS San Antonio, USS New Orleans, USS Makin Island and over a dozen more.