BAE Systems has been awarded a $76 million contract modification to produce additional Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters for the U.S. Navy. The canisters play a critical role for storing, transporting, and firing a range of offensive and defensive missiles from the deck of the Navy’s guided-missile cruisers and destroyers. Under the contract now totaling $306 million, BAE Systems will produce canisters for the Mk 13, Mk 14, Mk 25, Mk 29 and other hardware for the Navy. The contract will also support purchases from the governments of Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey under a Foreign Military Sales program.
“The VLS is a highly-survivable and versatile system and our canisters play a key role in equipping the Navy with this world-class capability,” said Brent Butcher, vice president of the Weapon Systems product line at BAE Systems. “BAE Systems has partnered with the Navy and its allies for more than 30 years to provide them with the most flexible and reliable weapon systems to execute a variety of missions effectively, and we look forward to continuing that commitment with this VLS technology.”
VLS canisters serve in a multifaceted role as containers for missile shipping and storage, as well as launch tubes when loaded into the VLS. They also provide identification and firing support to multiple missile types, including the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM), Standard Missile-2, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the vertical launch anti-submarine rocket known as ASROC. Work on the contract modification will be performed at the BAE Systems production facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota, through 2023, with engineering and program support in Minneapolis. The new modification will allow BAE Systems to add 25 jobs to its Aberdeen facility.
BAE Systems has more than 30 years of experience in the development, production and support of the Vertical Launching System (VLS) Mk41 for naval forces throughout the world. The VLS Mk 41 is a highly survivable system with missiles and associated hardware located below the armored deck. The VLS Mk 41 capability to simultaneously prepare two missiles in each 8-cell launcher module allows for fast reaction to multiple threats with concentrated, continuous firepower. BAE Systems has developed the Mk 25 Quad-Pack canister, which can vastly increase a ship’s self-defense capability. The Mk 25 Quad-Pack allows the system to store and fire four Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSMs) in a canister space that normally contains a single weapon.