Naval Swiss Army Knife: MK 41 Vertical Missile Launch Systems (VLS)
September 28/18: Multi-national FMS BAE Systems is being contracted to supply the ships of US allied navies a number Mk 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLSs). The firm-fixed-price contract modification is priced at $28.9 million and provides for the procurement of VLS Mk 13 MOD 0 canisters and coding plugs. The coding plugs will integrate the Standard Missile-2 to the VLS. 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. The tactical length Mk 41 can accommodate SM-2 Standard and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow air defense missiles, and VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles. This contract combines FMS to the governments of Japan ($19.6 million), Australia ($6.3 million), South Korea ($1.8 million) and the Netherlands ($1.2 million). Work will be performed at BAE facilities in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The systems are expected to be completed by June 2021.
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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