Naval Swiss Army Knife: MK 41 Vertical Missile Launch Systems (VLS)
February 24/20: Launching System Vertical Launcher Module Assemblies Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems won a $233 million contract action for the procurement of Mk 41 Vertical Launching System vertical launcher module assemblies, modernization kits and spare components. This contract combines purchases for the Navy as well as the governments of Korea , Finland, and Germany under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Mk 41 has been in US Navy service since 1986. The deal funds procurement of vertical launcher module assemblies, modernization kits and spare components for the launching system, a modular missile launch system capable of launching multiple standard missile variants. Estimated completion date is in March 2025.
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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