Editor’s Note

The changing nature of warfare, rising conflicts and the never-ending great-power competition has given rise to complex geometries in global geopolitical positioning. The world's future is filled with eternal uncertainty. The advances in technology such as quantum computing. artificial intelligence and digital surveillance have transformed the military worldwide. As a driving force, technology has embedded itself in the power showbiz and has initiated an unprecedented competition between global powers including the emerging middle power. Acquiring innovative power, capacity to invent and adapting fast to new technologies is now a key determinant for all involved in the ongoing power game in the emerging new world order.

Raksha Anirveda’s latest web feature attempts to evaluate and understand the impact of technology in reshaping India's power aspiration through its Indian Armed Forces’ modernisation programme. The featured articles have been diligently curated. These articles analyse Indian Armed Forces’ adoption of innovation and technology. procurement of critical technology to become Aatmanirbhar, adaptability to disruptive and emerging technologies, and its digitisation efforts to emerge as a strong future-ready force. Raksha Anirveda invites esteemed readers - the driving force behind its evolving benchmark to indulge, explore and evaluate the feature presentation. Happy Reading!

Girl in a jacket

Lockheed Martin and Spanish Industry Partner Navantia Reach Critical First Building Block in Aegis Integration

Indian Navy

New Delhi: For the first time ever, Lockheed Martin and Navantia Sistemas successfully formed a common operational picture between the new International Aegis Fire Control Loop (IAFCL) and SCOMBA (Sistema de Combate de los Buques de la Armada).

Navantia Sistemas is the Spanish Navy Combat Management System design agent for Spain’s Ministry of Defense’s new F-110 Bonifaz Class Frigate program.

F-110 is a five-ship program with a primary mission of Anti-Submarine Warfare with Anti-Air Warfare capability. Each object identified by one of the ship sensors is assigned a track by the combat system. The F-110’s combat system is a novel concept for an Aegis platform. While most Aegis platforms use the Aegis Combat System, the F-110 combat system design allows SCOMBA to manage the ships tracks.

From Moorestown to San Fernando: Innovating through Partnership

The track exchange demonstration, held at Lockheed Martin’s Aegis-SCOMBA Integration Centre in Moorestown, NJ, was supported by an international engineering team, including members from Lockheed Martin, Navantia Sistemas, United States Navy, DGAM (Directorate General of Armament and Material) and Spanish Navy. The IAFCL was able to send simulated SPY-7 radar data to SCOMBA and receive the associated SCOMBA host track in return, as well as receive non-IAFCL tracks from the SCOMBA system.

This event followed years of hard work by the collaborative international design, software, and integration teams from Lockheed Martin and Navantia Sistemas. IAFCL computer program code is built from the Aegis Common Source Library (CSL). The successful test at the Aegis-SCOMBA Integration Centre proves that IAFCL can be integrated into a larger host nation combat system.

Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President of Multi-Domain Combat Solutions, said the company’s partnership with Spanish Navy and Navantia has yielded successful integrations between the Aegis Weapon System and the F-100 and F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy, as well as frigates for the Norwegian and Australian Navies for over 27 years.

“We remain firmly committed to our industrial partnerships in Spain,” DePietro said. “We are continuing our decades-long cooperation with Navantia on the F-110 frigate program and collaborating on commercial opportunities to export the platform and its systems.”

The Lockheed Martin and Navantia Sistemas teams continue to mature the interface between the two systems, exchanging development plans and testing results. This will lead to the first F-110 IAFCL computer program export, delivery, and installation at Navantia’s Land-Based Test Site in San Fernando, Spain in 2024.

Looking Ahead: Combat System Light Off

This initial IAFCL and SCOMBA integration was the critical first building block to reach Combat System Light Off for the first ship of class, F-111, in 2027. The F-110 computer program integration and test will continue after land-based test site integration with the first Solid State SPY-7(V)2 Radar Engineering Development Model being installed at the Aegis-SCOMBA Integration Centre in 2024.

Navantia Defence Systems and Services director Donato Martínez said the company’s long-term collaboration with Lockheed Martin is marking a new milestone that places it at the technological vanguard of military shipbuilding. “On the basis of work and solid relationships, both companies are now developing the F-110 frigates — the new generation, state-of-the-art frigates for the Spanish Navy”, Martínez said. “International collaboration and technological advantage are the foundations upon which a robust, agile and flexible defense is based, and not only governments and the armed forces but also industry has a crucial role to play.”

In addition to the ships and Moorestown land-based test site, the radar and combat system will also be installed at the Spanish Navy’s Centro de Integración de Sistemas en Tierra facility in Rota, Spain, prior to installation on board the F-110 frigates.

“With Lockheed Martin’s focus on ensuring our customers stay ahead of ready,” DePietro said, “it’s important we develop and deliver mission-focused defense capabilities by innovating with agility, urgency, and affordability. This integration is another step forward in providing Spain with the world’s most advanced and capable weapon system.”