Surface Forces: Ship Self Defense System

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July 20, 2008: The U.S. is installing a new Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) on aircraft carriers and amphibious ships. The SSDS is easier to upgrade with new software and commercial hardware improvements (more powerful CPUs, hard drives and memory). SSDS uses the increasingly popular (for the military) "open architecture" approach.

In the last three decades the military has had to abandon its long time practice of designing specialized (for military use) electronics. New commercial equipment, capable of doing the same thing, was being developed more quickly than similar custom military gear could be. It became clear that other countries could use the commercial stuff, and have cheaper and more powerful systems than American ships.

The SSDS is meant for ships armed mainly with anti-missile systems (the 20mm Phalanx gun or missiles). SSDS collects information from several radars and other sensors more quickly, and gives watch officers and commanders are better picture, more quickly, or approaching threats (including suicide boats or whatever.)

The carrier USS Nimitz is the first ship to get SSDS Mk 2.

 

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