Naval Swiss Army Knife: MK 41 Vertical Missile Launch Systems (VLS)


More LockMart, more cowbell


October 4/23: Design West won a $21 million modification to exercise options to procure launch sequencers and associated kitted material in support of the MK 41 Vertical Launching System. This modification combines purchases for the Navy; and the governments of Finland, Australia, Germany, Norway, Canada, and the Republic of Korea under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work will be performed in Tustin, California, and is expected to be completed by November 2024. Fiscal 2023 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,783,004; FMS (Finland) funds in the amount of $2,780,448; FMS (Australia) funds in the amount of $2,095,012 (10%); FMS (Germany) funds in the amount of $2,085,336; FMS (Norway) funds in the amount of $1,742,618; FMS (Canada) funds in the amount of $1,451,492; and FMS (Republic of Korea) funds in the amount of $1,390,224, will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.


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MK 41s in action (click to view full) 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 MK 41, loading (click for alternate view) More than 11,000 MK.41 VLS missile cells have been delivered, or are on order, for use on 186 ships and 19 ship classes, in 11 navies around the world. This system currently serves with the US Navy […]

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