The Navy and Lockheed Martin [LMT] have conducted the final ground-based test of the latest version of the Aegis Combat System that for the first time couples theater air defense with ballistic missile defense, paving the way to testing at sea, Lockheed Martin said yesterday.

Two weeks of the testing of Aegis baseline 9 concluded over the weekend at the Navy’s land based test facility in Moorestown, N.J. A key element of the test was to ensure the Multi-Mission Signal Processor (MMSP), which enables the fusing of air and ballistic missile defense, could stand up against attempts to jam it, Lockheed Martin said.

“This baseline is the most capable Aegis program ever built and will be introduced to the Fleet via the Navy’s AEGIS Modernization program,” said Jim Sheridan, Lockheed Martin’s director of the Aegis program. The first newly constructed ship to receive the upgraded Aegis system will be the USS John Finn (DDG-113), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

A timeframe has yet to be determined for beginning the at-sea testing, Scott Lusk, a Lockheed Martin spokesman, said.

The MMSP will be installed on Ticonderoga-class (CG-47) cruisers as well as the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) destroyers, the two classes of surface combatants that deploy Aegis.

Work began in April to bring the ninth Aegis baseline to USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), followed by the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) and the USS Normandy (CG-60).

The latest edition of Aegis will also be the cornerstone of the Obama administration’s plan to base a ballistic missile defense capability in Europe. The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) calls for the deployment of Aegis equipped ships to operate off the continent, but also includes a land-based component known as Aegis ashore.