Congressman Jim Saxton today announced that $20 million has been authorized to pay for research and development (R&D) of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Signal Processor (BSP), a key component of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System.
"Research and development dollars can indicate the future of the plant," Saxton said. "Lockheed Martin is the largest company in South Jersey, and I have made protecting jobs at the plant one of my highest priorities during my 24 years in Congress. The employees who develop and build Aegis technology help defend the United States from aggressors like Iran. This work will seek ways to improve the Navy's existing missile defense technologies that will guard us against missile attacks in the years ahead. It will also support jobs for local residents. It's also the program which was tapped by the Pentagon to shoot down a falling satellite in February. I'd say that this is one program that's already paid off."
Saxton succeeded in adding the funding to the final 2009 Defense Authorization bill, which has been passed by both the House and Senate in late September. The work would be done in 2009 at Lockheed Martin's plant in Moorestown, N.J. The funding is a 20 percent hike over what he added last year.
"I'm happy to say the President signed this legislation into law yesterday," Saxton said.
BSP provides tracking accuracy and target discrimination in Navy radar. BSP is a key component of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Weapon System. It helps distinguish separating warheads from other pieces of a missile. That information can be used by Aegis-equipped destroyers and cruisers to attempt to intercept ballistic missiles or send precise tracking information to ground-based interceptors.
Though early versions of Aegis BSP have been tested successfully, funding is needed to complete development and to begin the process of fielding the technology. Part of the funding will be used for the development of algorithms for S-Band radar. Radar algorithm developments will improve tracking, identification and engagement of more sophisticated ballistic missiles.