Aegis Lite for the Corvette
Strategypage reveals details of the latest development of the Aegis combat system, the Raytheon AN/Spy-5 for small ships:
The new Raytheon SPY-5 could be described as “Aegis Lite” (it can be used in smaller ships, of under 1,000 tons displacement). The SPY-5 (SPY-1 is Aegis, SPY-2 is the anti-missile version of Aegis, while . SPY-3 and 4 are for the new DDG-1000 destroyer) is, in effect a smaller version of SPY-3, which was also designed to replace five different types of radars. In effect, SPY-5 takes care of air and surface search, plus fire control, and anything else you need radar for. The smaller (than SPY 1-3) uses only three flat phased array surfaces to cover all around the ship. The SPY-5 was also designed to be compatible with existing power supplies and electronic systems in Western ships.
As we have often predicted, the small corvette ship is increasingly becoming a formidable warship in its own right, a long way from the thinly protected FACs of previous decades. Hopefully this will drive orders for such craft, which costing in the hundreds of millions of dollars, might be seen as replacements for the giant missile escorts we have dubbed “new battleships”. Such vessels like the US Arleigh Burke and the newer Zumwalt class, plus their European counterparts easily surpass the billion dollar mark many times over. Hardly an incentive for production in large numbers, or risking such exquisite ships in wartime.