The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) delivered the 100th Aegis Radio Communication System (RCS) to the fleet following a ceremony at Webster Outlying Field in St. Inigoes, Maryland on Jan. 25.
The RCS is integral to the operation of the Aegis combat system, and was developed and integrated by NAWCAD engineers.
“I am incredibly proud of our team for the capability they continue to deliver to our ships,” said NAWCAD Commander Rear Adm. John Lemmon.
Aegis is capable of engaging threats launched from the air, below sea, and from the surface, and consists of weapon and combat systems aboard Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers. The RCS provides external communications capabilities, and this 100th system will be delivered to first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“From the very beginning, every system has delivered to the fleet within budget and on schedule,” said NAWCAD Webster Outlying Field’s (WOLF) Executive Director Christian Utara. “This remarkable achievement is the direct result of the profound dedication of every member of the Aegis RCS team.”
The RCS footprint is large, comprised of more than 50 six-foot high racks and an antenna set. Since space on a ship is limited, the test bed at WOLF is an exact replica of a ship compartment, helping to assure accurate installation. Prepping and delivering the system happens over the course of a month, and it is transported on multiple large trucks. WOLF’s Aegis team has delivered approximately two systems per year since the 1980s.
The milestone delivery and integration was possible through partnership with the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC)’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)’s Program Executive Office for Ships, and multiple industry partners.
With roots dating back to 1957 at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, the first Aegis RCS was delivered to USS Ticonderoga (CG 47) in 1981. In 1990, WOLF delivered the first RCS to an Arleigh Burke-class warship. The 101st RCS delivery is scheduled for April 2021 to another planned Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John Basilone (DDG 122).