Naval Swiss Army Knife: MK 41 Vertical Missile Launch Systems (VLS)
November 6/18: Services BAE Systems is being tapped to support the Navy’s Mk 41 Vertical Launch System. The company will provide the Navy with mechanical design agent engineering services at a cost of $45.9 million. The contract covers a variety of efforts including the provision of mechanical, cable, canister and canister support equipment; design and system engineering support; integration support and associated ancillary material. The Mk 41 is the most widely-used naval VLS in the world, and can be described as a naval Swiss army knife. The Mk 41 VLS can hold a wide variety of missiles: anti-air and ballistic missile defense, anti-submarine, land-attack and more. The Mk 41 VLS is installed on US Navy CG-47 and DDG- 51 class ships, as well as on warships of 11 allied navies. Work will be performed at BAE’s facilities in Minnesota and South Dakota, and is scheduled for completion by March 2020.
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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