Naval Swiss Army Knife: MK 41 Vertical Missile Launch Systems (VLS)
Dec 12/14: N00024-13-R-5332 award. Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training is awarded a $235.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for MK 41 electronic and mechanical modules and related equipment, that can reach $356.8M with options. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (69.5%) and the governments of Saudi Arabia (26.3%) and Norway (4.2%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (95.1%); Orlando, FL (4%); and Clearwater, FL (0.9%), and is expected to be completed by March 2022. Funds come from the Navy’s FY 2013 and 2014 shipbuilding/conversion and other procurement; FY 2014 Defense-wide procurement funds; and FY 2014 research, development, test and evaluation.
October 9/14: UK. In a reply to Rory Stewart, the Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon wrote that a Flexible Strike Silo fitted with Mk41 launchers will be part of Type 26 frigates. Source: MoD/House of Commons [PDF].
The naval MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) hides missiles below decks in vertical slots, with key electronics and venting systems built in. A deck and hatch assembly at the top of the module protects the missile canisters from the elements, and from other hazards during storage. Once the firing sequence begins, the hatches open to permit missile launches of various types. It is also being adapted for land use, as part of the USA’s plan to forward-deploy ballistic missile defense in allied countries.
The Mk.41 is the most widely-used naval VLS in the world, in service with the US Navy and with many countries outside the United States. Lockheed Martin is the system’s prime contractor, with components and canisters provided by BAE Systems Land & Armaments. In September 2011, however, the US Navy assumed the final integrator role.
A Naval Swiss Army Knife: The MK 41 VLS
The Housing: VLS Cells
The Blades: Canisters & Inserts
MK 41 VLS Contracts
FY 2009- 2010
FY 2006 – 2007
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