You are here

AEGIS Combat System Optimization through Advanced Modeling of Software-Only Changes


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace 

OBJECTIVE: Develop modeling and analysis software to optimize software-only changes in the Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) system design to address new re-designs of Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ACSMs) threats. 

DESCRIPTION: U.S. Navy AEGIS surface combatants must consistently upgrade their system software and design to pace the threat. A cost-effective method to optimize combat system designs uses modeling platforms to characterize and test various software and hardware configurations as well as proposed changes to the combat system. While models exist, and can go into extensive detail on radar detection and tracking performance and missile performance, there are continuous threat upgrades that exploit vulnerabilities in system design. Combat system development must be able to quickly optimize and overcome failures in combatting these threats effectively and efficiently. Tweaks in AEGIS Combat System (ACS) design, including missile guidance, seeker pointing, illumination design, and other shipboard combat system controls, can provide quick software-only fixes that provide large gains in overall AEGIS performance against the latest ASCM threats. In this manner, the AAW combat capability of the ACS can be improved via software-only upgrades. Software optimization of AAW weapons and components such as Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), Standard Missile (SM-2), Close-in Weapons System (CIWS), Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, and other ACS elements, could result in the upgrade of the ACS in a cost-effective manner. Current upgrade processes involve man-driven engineering analysis to determine the best options for inserting new upgrades or system improvements. This process is manual, labor intensive, and has inputs from disconnected sources driving the timeline associated with analysis and decisions for software insertions. Because the AAW system is a highly complex system with multiple interactions, human cognitive processing lacks the ability to perform the necessary calculations to provide the best software upgrade recommendations. The Navy seeks to automate current processes and make them more data-driven to field capability as quickly as possible, make the most optimal improvements to AAW within the capabilities of the Navy’s current weapons, and provide integrated data analysis to enable better integrate and ensure performance of future weapons. A software tool that integrates outputs of current and future models and uses goal-seeking behaviors to improve recommendations for software-only optimization of the AAW capability within the ACS is needed. It will integrate with the AEGIS Test Bed (ATB) to facilitate system evaluation against more advanced and prolific threats. This will enable shortening of testing and certification timelines for new AEGIS baselines as compared to current timelines. This tool shall allow for small tweaks to current design parameters such as missile guidance, seeker pointing, illumination design, and other shipboard combat system controls, such that rapid prototyping of AEGIS design and software upgrade recommendations can occur within days versus weeks or months as in the current process. Design parameters affecting performance metrics including Miss Distance, Probability of Kill, and Probability of Raid Annihilation should be integrated within the tool such that a direct link is established between software design modifications and AAW/ACS system performance. The software tool will need to run 100,000 simulations at a time and use that data to recommend optimized changes to software parameters for AAW design to improve performance metrics for Miss Distance and Probability of Kill by 10% and close the gap in the Probability of Raid Annihilation (PRA) by 10%. This technology will enable computer-aided optimization of AEGIS design and provide better capability from current designs, saving lifecycle costs for AEGIS in the future. The only alternative is performing this optimization of Combat System performance manually, which would be cost-prohibitive. This topic enables a cost-effective way to optimize and avoids future lifecycle upgrade costs. The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work. Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract. 

PHASE I: Define and develop a concept for modeling and analysis software to provide recommendations for software-only changes in the AAW system design to address new re-designs of ACSMs threats. The concept must show it will feasibly support the test environments identified in the Description. Feasibility will be established through assessment of the approaches to provide recommendations in reduced timelines, to accurately represent the performance metric improvements driven by proposed software only changes, and the approach to integrate the capability into the ATB environment. The Government will provide access to the ATB environment. Also develop a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) to design, develop, validate, and integrate the proposed software application into the AEGIS combat system test environments. The Phase I Option, if awarded, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype system in Phase II. Develop a Phase II plan. 

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW), design, develop and deliver a prototype modeling and simulation software tool for recommending software-only design changes to the AAW system. Implement the prototype into an existing Government-approved modeling and simulation environment such as the ATB to validate performance. The prototype system must be capable of demonstrating the implementation and integration into the AAW weapons and components such as Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), Standard Missile (SM-2), Close-in Weapons System (CIWS), Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, and other ACS elements as described in the Description. The demonstration will be conducted in a Government-provided facility. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for Navy use and Program of Record. It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details). 

PHASE III: Support the Government in transitioning the technology to Navy use and allow for further experimentation and refinement. The contractor will validate the possible upgrades to system design via optimization and recommend those designs for fielding. Implementation will be a fully functional software tool for the ACS. Optimization of this type of software systems can be utilized in factories that incorporate varying production and delivery schedules. 


1: Li, X., Fu, S., and Fan, H. "Optimization of an Advanced Guidance Scheme for Long-Range AAMs Based on SPSO." Sun Z., Deng Z. (eds) Proceedings of 2013 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, vol 254. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg 23 March 2017.

2:  Zhijun, Li, Yuanqing, Xia, Chun-Yi, Su, Jun, Deng, Jun, Fu, and Wei, He. "Missile Guidance Law Based on Robust Model Predictive Control Using Neural-Network Optimization." 23 March 2017.

KEYWORDS: Combat Capability Of AEGIS; Better Pace ACSM Threats; Software-only Upgrades For AAW Systems; Complex AAW; Standard Missile; ESSM 


John Clarke 

(202) 781-3922 

Bob Rumbaugh 

(202) 781-4932 

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government