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Future USS Rafael Peralta Get Aegis System Light Off

This Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, photo provided by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shows the future USS Rafael Peralta at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. (Courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works via AP)
This Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, photo provided by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shows the future USS Rafael Peralta at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. (Courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works via AP)

BATH, Maine — The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) achieved "light off" of its Aegis Combat System at the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard, Dec. 17.

The Aegis system light off marks the beginning of combat system testing for the ship. These comprehensive tests will ensure all combat system equipment is operational and communicative.

Rafael Peralta will be equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability, incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 Capability Upgrade (BMD 5.0CU) and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA).

"I am very proud of all our industry and government team that got us to this day. I look forward to a successful test program and taking DDG 115 to sea in 2016," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "This is the first BIW DDG 51 restart destroyer to achieve Aegis light off, and we're excited to provide the fleet with another DDG 51 equipped with enhanced IAMD warfighting capabilities."

The Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare and BMD threats. When operational, these multi-mission surface combatants will serve as an integral player in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense, as well as increased capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.

"Rafael Peralta is an awesome warship. I'm tremendously excited that she has achieved Aegis light-off, the most critical combat system milestone for new construction Aegis destroyers," said Capt. Tom Druggan, Aegis combat systems program manager in PEO Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS 1.0). "Aegis Baseline 9 expands our engageable battlespace eight-fold and is delivering key capabilities in support of distributed lethality. Fleet introduction of Aegis Baseline 9 is going very well, including deployments and carrier strike group operations, and the fleet is excited about adding another extremely capable, multi-mission Aegis destroyer to the fleet."

DDG 115 was christened Oct. 31 and launched Nov. 1. Upon delivery in late-2016, Rafael Peralta will be the 65th Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class destroyer to join the fleet.

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