BAE Systems 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.
“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.
MK 41 VLS is the only launching system that can simultaneously communicate with weapon control systems and missiles of every warfighting mission area: anti-aircraft, anti-surface, anti-submarine, ballistic missile defense and land attack. The system is designed to accept any missile into any cell. It 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.
Work on this contract begins immediately and will primarily be performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Since the mid-1980’s, MK 41 VLS has maintained a common mechanical structure, and the system electronics have been continuously upgraded. The upgrades incorporate new missile integration capabilities, mitigate obsolescence and leverage the benefits of commercial off the shelf products and open system architecture to provide an affordable product. The evolutionary design process provides customers with the latest capabilities and enables unparalleled integration flexibility for a multi-mission vertical launching system.