This week, US Navy Super Cruise Systems (SCS) announced the completion of its maiden combat deployment of Aegis systems aboard five Aegis-equipped ships. 

 The ship’s name was “Aegis” and its nameplate was “Celestia”. 

 This was the third deployment of a single Aegis system aboard five ships, following the installation of the Aegis Defense System (ADCS) on two USNS Freedom Islands, and the deployment of the ADCS system aboard two USS Stethem in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017. 

The ships are being used to test the Aegissim combat system, which uses lasers to detect incoming ballistic missiles. 

Aegissim was originally intended to be deployed on the USS Freedom but was replaced by Aegis in 2021. 

Both the Freedom and Stethes ships have been in service for two decades, with the Freedom serving as the first ship to deploy a full complement of Aegissims. 

This deployment marks the first time a single system has been deployed aboard a US Navy vessel since its deployment to the USS John C. Stennis in the 1960s. 

Two more ships are scheduled to deploy Aegis early next year, the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS Theodore Roosevelt. 

According to USNI News, the ships are expected to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea in 2020, and to the eastern Mediterranean in 2021, the US Navy’s first deployment to those areas. 

“This is a huge milestone for our Aegis fleet, which has served as the cornerstone of our strategy of increasing our ability to fight, win and protect the United States from threats around the world,” said Navy Under Secretary of the Navy, David Lapan. 

After completion of the initial deployment, the next step will be to deploy more Aegis ships to support the next wave of US Naval Surface Forces deployments to the western Pacific, which includes deployments to Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii. 

US Navy Super Cruisers As of April, the U.S. Navy has 21 Super Cruises in the service, including the USS Nimitz and USS Dwight D Eisenhower. 

These ships have all deployed Aegis Combat System and Combat System-2 systems. 

As we mentioned earlier, the first ships to deploy the Aegises systems will be the USS Stetsons, which will be deployed from the USS Ronald Reagan in 2021 for the first phase of the “New Wave” Aegis deployments. 

(Image credit: US Navy)