BAE Systems, Inc. has won a U.S. Navy competition to serve as the design agent for the mechanical portion of the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). The contract calls for BAE Systems to provide design, development, test, product improvement, and sustaining support for current and legacy VLS systems. BAE Systems will also continue to design and support canisters used to store, transport, and launch the missiles from the VLS. Work on this contract begins immediately and will primarily be performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota
“This award demonstrates that BAE Systems is an industry leader when it comes to the VLS solution for the Navy’s fleet of Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers,” said Brent Butcher, vice president of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems. “Going forward this contract secures our role in providing the Navy with cutting-edge design and engineering supporting this critical warfighting capability.”
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. The Mk 41 VLS is capable of launching a broad range of missiles, including the Standard Missile SM-2, SM-3, and SM-6 variants; the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile; the NATO Seasparrow and Evolved Seasparrow; and the Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket.
The VLS Mk 41 is a highly survivable system with missiles and associated hardware located below the armored deck. Redundant fire control and launcher interface links also enhance system survivability in casualty situations. 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. The Mk 41 VLS is also deployed with the navies of Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey.