MK 15 - Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)
MK 15 - Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)

Raytheon to Upgrade MK15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) for South Korea

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $49,046,788 modification to previously awarded contract for the procurement of four MK 15 – Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Block 0 to Block 1B Baseline 2 Upgrade and Conversion and related equipment for the Republic of Korea Navy. MK 15 Phalanx CIWS provides ships of with an inner layer point defense capability against anti-ship missiles, aircrafts, drones and littoral warfare threats. Work is expected to be completed by May 2025. Foreign military sales (South Korea) funding in the amount of $49,046,788 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

The Republic of Korea has requested to buy two (2) MK 15 MOD 25 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 (IB2) systems; and four thousand (4,000) rounds, 20MM cartridge API linked. Also included are spare parts; other support equipment; ammunition; books and other publications; software; training; engineering technical assistance and other technical assistance; and other related elements of program and logistical support. The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea’s capability to meet current and future threats. Korea will use the systems aboard its first KDX III Batch II Class ship to provide it with effective means of detecting and defending itself against incoming airborne threats.

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)
Raytheon MK15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)

The Phalanx CIWS (often spoken as “sea-wiz”) is a gun-based close-in weapon system to defend military watercraft automatically against incoming threats such as aircraft, missiles, and small boats. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division, later a part of Raytheon. Because of their distinctive barrel-shaped radome and their automated nature of operation, Phalanx CIWS units are sometimes nicknamed “R2-D2” after the droid character from the Star Wars films. Consisting of a radar-guided 20 mm (0.8 in) M61 Vulcan Gatling gun autocannon, used by the United States military on various tactical aircraft since 1959, mounted on a swiveling base, the Phalanx has been used by theU.S. Navy and the naval forces of 15 other countries.

Due to the evolution of threats and computer technology, the Phalanx system has been developed through several configurations. Since the end of FY 2015, the US Navy has upgraded all Phalanx systems to the Block 1B variant. In addition to the FLIR sensor, the Block 1B incorporates an automatic acquisition video tracker, optimized gun barrels (OGB), and Enhanced Lethality Cartridges (ELC) for additional capabilities against asymmetric threats such as small maneuvering surface craft, slow-flying fixed and rotary-winged aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Another system upgrade is the Phalanx 1B Baseline 2 radar to improve detection performance, increase reliability, and reduce maintenance. It also has a surface mode to track, detect, and destroy threats closer to the water’s surface, increasing the ability to defend against fast-attack boats and low-flying missiles.

Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)
>Raytheon MK15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)

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