dissabte, 14 de gener de 2012

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

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, and BAE Systems Land & Armaments also makes components and canisters for the MK 41 system. In September 2011, however, the US Navy assumed the role of final integrator…

A Naval Swiss Army Knife: The MK 41 VLS

MK41 VLS Loading Top
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 as well as the Australian, Canadian, Dutch, German, Japanese, New Zealand, Norwegian, South Korean, Spanish, and Turkish navies.
The MK 41 VLS can hold a wide variety of missiles: anti-air and ballistic missile defense (Sea Sparrow, ESSM, Standard family), anti-submarine (VLASROC), land-attack (Tomahawk) and more. One simply drops different missile canisters into the MK 41’s common interface.
The MK 41 VLS is itself available in 3 different sizes, to meet differing hull and mission requirements:
  • The Strike length MK 41 is the largest system accommodating the widest variety of missiles, up to and including Tomahawk cruise missiles for land attack, and SM-3s for ballistic missile defense. In future, it also has the potential to carry Harpoon anti-ship missiles, if a VL-Harpoon is developed. Its capabilities cover almost every threat in naval warfare: anti-air, anti-submarine, ship self-defense, land attack and ballistic missile defense.
  • The Tactical length Mk 41 is over 7 feet shorter than the Strike length and can accommodate a variety of missiles up to approximately 18.5 feet in length. The SM-2 and Evolved SeaSparrow air defense missiles, and VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles, will fit in a tactical length cell.
  • The Self-Defense Launcher (SDL) is specifically designed for ship self defense. SDL is shorter and lighter than the other variants. Its size and weight are designed to accommodate smaller ships like corvettes and frigates, as well as aircraft carriers with limited deck and hull space.
The MK 41’s most recent Baseline VII upgrade was rolled out in 2004, upgrading the module’s electronics. Advances include cell-based architecture, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) processors, a modern real-time operating system, programming written in the object-oriented C++ format, ethernet communications, and fiber optic channels, all within an open architecture approach. These changes opened the door to compliance with the US Navy’s Open Architecture Initiative, added RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile capability, and improved life cycle maintenance and future upgradability.
This Baseline VII configuration is currently fielded on new U.S. Navy destroyers (DDG 91 and later); efforts are underway to modernize the USA’s CG-47 Ticonderoga Class missile cruisers, and eventually older Arleigh Burke Class destroyers as well.
The key to the system’s flexibility is its canisters, which come in different vertical sizes. Canisters provide rocket motor exhaust gas containment and a launch rail during missile firing, and also serve as missile shipping and storage containers. Tactical-length canisters use adapters when fitted into strike-length Mk.41 cells:
  • Mk.13: Tactical length canister for standard size SM-2 air defense missile variants
  • Mk.14: Strike length canister for BGM-109 TLAM Tomahawk cruise missiles
  • Mk.15: Tactical length canister for VL-ASROC anti-submarine rockets
  • Mk.21: Strike length canister for SM-2 Block IV, SM-3 Block I long-range air/ballistic missile defense missiles
  • Mk.25: Tactical length Quad-pack canister for RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow air defense missiles
  • Mk.29: Strike length canister for the future SM-3 Block II ballistic missile defense missiles, which are wider. Uses more composites for lighter weight.
Inserts can also enhance a cell’s flexibility. Lockheed Martin’s Extensible Launching System (ExLS) is, in effect, a semi-permanent Mk.41 canister that acts as a quad-pack adapter, allowing ships to fire smaller weapons like Nulka anti-missile decoys, RIM-116 RAM block 2 defensive missiles, or even small land attack missiles, from their Mk.41/Mk.57 vertical launchers. ExLS can also be hosted in a ship on its own, as a launch system in and of itself that competes with the Mk.41 SDL.
The MK41 VLS system’s leading competitor is DCNS’ Sylver family of launchers. They equip the French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle nuclear aircraft carrier, the Franco-Italian Horizon Class frigates, the UK’s Type 45 destroyers, and Saudi Arabia’s LaFayette-derived Sawari II frigates, among others. In 2005 the Sylver launcher was also picked to equip the multi-role Franco-Italian FREMM frigates, which have been ordered by France, Italy, Algeria, and Morocco.

MK 41 VLS Contracts

MK41 VLS Line Drawing
MK 41 line drawing
(click to view full)
Unless otherwise indicated, all contracts are issued by US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC.
Jan 10/12: Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD receives a $20.6 million modification to previously awarded contract for MK 41 VLS production support material, interim support parts, and equipment to support construction of new Arleigh Burke Class Flight IIA destroyers.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (41.1%); Lewisburg, TN (19.1%); Fort Walton Beach, FL (18.8%); Johnstown, PA (9.2%); Simpsonville, SC (5.5%); Clearwater, FL (3.2%); and Sterling Heights, MI (3.1%). Work is expected to be complete by June 2015. US Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-11-C-5302).
Nov 23/11: Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD receives an $11.7 million contract modification for MK 41 VLS ordnance alteration kits, production support material, interim support parts, and equipment in support of DDG 51 class destroyer new construction, overall Aegis modernization programs, and land-based Aegis Ashore programs. Aegis Ashore is likely to require significant physical engineering changes, while the electronics need to be kept up to date with planned upgrades to the Aegis combat system and other shipboard equipment.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (41.1%); Lewisburg, TN (19.1%); Ft Walton Beach, FL (18.8%); Johnstown, PA (9.2%); Simpsonville, SC (5.5%); Clearwater, FL (3.2%); and Sterling Heights, MI. (3.1%), and is expected to be complete by September 2014. US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC issues the contracts.
Sept 22/11: Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors (MS2) in Baltimore MD receives an $8.8 million contract modification to provide electrical design agent services for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). Work can include the integration of new missiles into VLS; integration of VLS into new ships; technical refresh; systems engineering; computer program engineering; and failure analyses.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (82%), and Ventura, CA (18%), and is expected to be complete by December 2012.
Sept 1/11: Aviation Week reports that the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) will now acquire FY 2010-2012 VLS launcher module mechanical structures directly from the subcontractor, and assume the role of major systems integrator. PEO IWS VLS Program Manager Toan Nguyen:
“We broke the mold on an established business engagement and emphasized a message of affordability…. By eliminating efforts associated with managing the major subcontractor, we have gained efficiency while retaining our efficient manufacturing and integration processes.”
June 29/11: Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD receives a $13.1 million contract modification for MK 41 VLS ordnance alteration kits, production support material, interim support parts, and equipment in support of DDG 51-class new construction, and of Aegis modernization programs for the Navy’s CG-47 cruisers and DDG-51 destroyers.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (29.5%); Ft. Walton Beach, FL (18.8%); Moorestown, NJ (11.6%); Lewisburg, TN (10.1%); Johnstown, PA (9.2%); Owego, NY (9.0%); Simpsonville, SC (5.5%); Clearwater, FL (3.2%); and Sterling Heights, MI (3.1%), and is expected to be complete by June 2013 (N00024-11-C-5302).
June 20/11: Mk41 for British Type 45 destroyers? Raytheon Missile Systems VP Ed Miyashiro is telling journalists that a number of other platforms are being looked at for NATO/European ballistic missile defense, including Britain’s Type 45s. The ship class’ MBDA Aster-30 missiles have just begun land tests against ballistic missiles, but Raytheon’s SM-3 family has both a longer testing record, and an SM-3 Block II that promises very significant performance improvements. For cash-strapped European governments, it also comes with much cheaper missile defense development costs, thanks to American and Japanese advance work.
The issue would be integration. Spanish F100 frigates are the most straightforward, with the same AN/SPY-1D radars and Mk.41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) as American ships. The same AEGIS BMD upgrade set used in American destroyers would suffice. Dutch and German F124 frigates, and the pending Danish Ivar Huitfeldt Class ships, also carry the MK.41 VLS, but use higher-performance Thales APAR and SMART-L radars. That requires additional integration and modification work, but all 3 classes are using a shared core system. The British, French, and Italian ships would be the most work. While they all share a similar core air defense system, they all use different radars, while sharing key electronics and DCNS’ Sylver VLS. That means both electronics work, and physical changes to the weapons array. In his conversations, Miyashiro mentions that they’re looking into the possibility of fielding SM-3 compatible inserts in DCNS’ Sylver A70 VLS, which is the required size for the 6.6 meter SM-3. Britain’s Type 45 Daring Class has space for adding the larger Sylver A70 launchers up front, but Miyashiro has reportedly said that they’re also looking at the possibility of inserting the Mk.41 VLS there.
A Mk.41 VLS would require some combat system integration, in exchange for very wide flexibility beyond the SM-3s. It would also give the Daring Class the ability to use an array of new weapons, including Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles, which current British doctrine will only fire from submarines. Aviation Week | Defense News.
June 3/11: BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP in Minneapolis, MN wins a $54.6 million firm-fixed-price sole-source contract for MK 41 Vertical Launching System mechanical modules and related equipment and services. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to $55.5 million.
The launchers will be installed in 3 different DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Flight IIA destroyers: HII’s DDG 113 & 114, and Bath Iron Works’ DDG-115. Each ship will receive 2 sets, for a total of 6. Production on the missile launchers will begin in June 2011 and run through 2013, though the contract runs to September 2015. Work will be performed in Aberdeen, SD (45%); Aiken, SC (25%); York, PA (20%); Louisville, KY (5%); and Fridley, MN (5%). Work is expected to be complete by September 2015 (N00024-11-C-5301). See also BAE release.
March 30/11: BAE Systems in Minneapolis, MN receives an $8.9 million contract modification to help integrate wider (21” vs. 13.5”) SM-3 Block II missiles into the MK 41 vertical launching system. The firm will provide design, analysis, and test services for the MK 29 Mod 0 canister in support of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), and engineering services for MK 21 Mod 3 canisters and MK 41 installation efforts.
Work will be performed in Minneapolis, MN (77%), and Brea, CA (23%), and is expected to be complete by December 2011 (N00024-09-C-5394).
Nov 29/10: The US Navy’s PEO-Integrated Warfare Systems issues a readiness and sustainment contract to BAE Systems, to establish and maintain the ship interfaces for the Standard Missile family. That includes, but is not exclusive to, the Mk41 vertical launch systems carrying the missiles. These services include systems and software engineering, systems integration, testing, and computer-aided design. The contract has a 1-year base period, with up to 4 one-year options. If all options are exercised, it will be worth $60 million. Work will be conducted at a BAE Systems Support Solutions facility in Rockville, MD, and at customer sites in Tucson, AZ and around the world.
Under the same contract, the company also works with the Navy to support Standard Missile family interfaces for Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Taiwan. BAE Systems.
Nov 19/10: Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Sensors, Ships and Aviation Systems in Baltimore, MD receives a $24.5 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, exercising to exercise the 2nd option for spare and repair parts used in the MK-41 vertical launching system.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (15%), and Ventura, CA (85%), and is expected to be complete by November 2014. The Naval Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, PA manages this contract (N00104-01-D-ZD52).
MK41 VLS Line Drawing
ExLS, explained
(click to view full)
Sept 30/10: Successful thermal model testing of the new Mk.29 VLS canister on board the US Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship. NSWC Port Hueneme engineers took the lead in coordinating the event requirements and schedule, prepared the ship for testing, reviewed test planning documentation, provided 7 other VLS canisters for the test event and conducted the onload and offload of the 8 VLS canisters to and from the test ship.
The canister and missile used were the MK 29 Mod 0 Prototype P1 canister and SM-3 Blk IIA engineering unit inert missile. The Mk29 canister is designed to house the future SM-3 Block IIA , which is 21” wide throughout. The SM-3 Block 1s, which fit into Mk21 canisters, are just 13.5” wide above the booster stage. The MK 29 canister design is also a departure from previous VLS canister designs, using mostly composite materials in order to reduce weight. US NAVSEA.
Aug 11/10: Lockheed Martin announces a successful test-firing of a Nulka decoy from their new Extensible Launching System (ExLS) insert. ExLS allows a ship to launch launch of smaller payloads like Nulka decoys or NLOS-LS missiles from Mk41 VLS or larger Mk57 PVLS VLS cells. This avoids deck mountings that might compromise stealth, or custom launchers with their added costs.
The flight test at Eglin AFB, FL comes after 3 years of development and integration, and demonstrated the new launcher in a fully tactical configuration. The ExLS test was conducted with support from the Naval Surface Warfare Centers at Dahlgren, VA and Crane, IN, as well as Nulka developer BAE Systems Australia.
June 30/10: BAE Systems, Land & Armaments, LP, U.S. Combat Systems, Minneapolis, Minn., is being awarded a $9.1 million contract modification for FY 2009 canister production of MK25 Evolved Seasparrow quad-pack canisters.
Work will be performed in Aberdeen, SD (80%); Odessa, MO (10%); and Minneapolis, MN (10%); and is expected to be completed by February 2012 (N00024-09-C-5317).
April 13/10: BAE Systems Land and Armaments’ U.S. Combat Systems division in Minneapolis, MN receives an $8.6 million not-to-exceed contract modification to integrate SM-3 and SM-6 ERAM missiles into Mk.41 canisters and launchers. This mechanical design agent work will be performed in Minneapolis, MN (80%), Brea, CA (15%), and San Diego, CA (5%), and is expected to be complete by April 2011 (N00024-09-C-5394). SM-3s have already been fired from Mk.41 launchers as a matter of course. In response to DID’s questions, BAE Systems said that their work extended to new variants:
”...yes, there are several versions of SM-3 [to integrate, as well as the new SM-6]; we are working for the US Navy to integrate them with Mk 41 and to design missile canisters for them. We coordinate Mk 41 launcher integration with our teammate Lockheed Martin.”
Feb 1/10: Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors in Baltimore MD received a $31.4 million cost-plus-fixed fee contract to be the electrical design agent for the MK 41 VLS, on behalf of the USN and 8 allied navies. It combines purchases for the US Navy (26.7%), and the governments of Japan (29.7%), Turkey (14.2%), Australia (7.7%), Spain (7.0%), Canada (6.0%), South Korea (5.0%), Netherlands (2.1%), and Germany (1.6%); and includes options which, if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to $104.9 million over 4 years.
Efforts under the contract include design agent services to support the MK 41 VLS program and the life cycle support facility through efforts such as the integration of new missiles into the VLS, integration of VLS into new ships, technical refresh, systems engineering, computer program engineering, and failure analyses.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (92%); and Ventura, CA (8%); and is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $3.2 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured by US Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard, DC (N00024-10-C-5347). See also Lockheed Martin release
SM-3 Evolution
SM-3 Evolution
(click to view full)
Aug 6/09: BAE Systems Land & Armaments LP’s U.S. Combat Systems in Minneapolis, MN received a $7.5 million ceiling cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for canister integration and mechanical design agent services related to the Mk 41 VLS’ fit with Standard Missile (SM) SM-3 and forthcoming SM-6 missiles. The SM-6 is a new missile that will replace the SM-2, while SM-3 is adding new features and SM-3 Block II will widen the missile body to 21”. BAE would later inform DID that this contract was specifically targeted at the SM-3 Block IIA, along with SM-6.
Work will be performed in Minneapolis, MN (90%); Brea, CA (10%), and is expected to be complete by August 2010. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-09-C-5394).
March 20/09: Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors in Baltimore, MD received a fixed-price, not-to-exceed $49.9 million contract for FY 2009 MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) production and delivery requirements. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (43%), and for the governments of Turkey (56%) and Australia (1%t) under the Foreign Military Sales Program.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (64%); Minneapolis, MN (19%); Fort Walton Beach, FL (14%); Eagan, MN (2%); and Virginia Beach, VA (1%), and is expected to be complete by December 2012. This contract was not competitively procured (N00024-09-C-5392).
Nov 20/08: Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors (MS2) received a $6.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract for design agent engineering services. They will support updated MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) installation in the U.S. Navy’s CG-47 Ticonderoga Class guided missile cruiser modernization program, and the Turkish Navy’s MEKO Track IIA and IIB frigates.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (84%) and Ventura, CA (16%), and is expected to be complete by May 2009 (N00024-04-C-5453). See also Lockheed Martin release.
April 4/08: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Turkey’s formal request for 6 MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) Baseline VII tactical modules, and 2 sets of MK 41 VLS upgrade kits. They would be used to modernize 2 MEKO Track IIA frigates and 4 ex-FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates, and to upgrade 2 MEKO Track IIB frigates’ MK-41 VLS from baseline IV to baseline VII configuration. Updates to the ships’ fire control system upgrades will add RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile capability. Services will include installation and testing, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, equipment operation and maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, launch system software development and maintenance and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $227 million.
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors of Baltimore, MD, and Moorestown, NJ. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, and implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government representatives or contractor representatives to Turkey.
Aug 30/07: Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems in Baltimore, MD received a $6.4 million firm-fixed-price modification #P00121 to previously awarded contract (N00024-98-C-5363) for procurement of 2 MK 41 Vertical Launching System shipsets for the Government of Turkey under the Foreign Military Sales Program. This procurement will include spares, special tools, test equipment, material and services to refurbish fixtures and transport equipment.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (70%) and Minneapolis, MN (30%), and is expected to be complete by March 2010.
SM-2 launch, Mk41
SM-2 launch
(click to view full)
Aug 15/07: The US Navy’s Open Architecture Initiative is placing a strong focus on a new electronics approach for its new ships and its upgrade programs. Open architecture exploits commercial computing technology standards, which makes it easier for the Navy to switch vendors, replace components, and perform upgrades when necessary.
Lockheed Martin’s release describes their Mk41 VLS open architecture efforts, from past upgrades that laid the foundation, to current efforts aimed at making the system’s software “portable” across different computer processors and operating systems, to future efforts aimed at greater software modularity and re-use.
July 26/07: Lockheed Martin announces a $23.2 million firm fixed price contract modification to upgrade MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on the USA’s CG-47 Ticonderoga Class guided missile cruisers to Baseline VII status. The effort is part of Naval Sea Systems Command’s Cruiser Modernization Program, which will update the ships’ combat systems, as well as the hull, mechanical and electrical systems.
Specifically, Lockheed Martin will provide new electronics hardware to upgrade the MK 41 VLS to Baseline VII on 2 of the 16 modules aboard the USA’s 22 serving CG 47-class ships (each module is 8 cells). The upgrade will extend the multi-mission launching system capability to include the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), which will let the ships carry up to 64 of these air defense missiles in their 16 modernized Baseline VII cells. Lockheed Martin release.
March 15/07: BAE Armament Systems Division in Minneapolis, MN received a $19.1 million fixed-price-award-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5464) for procurement of FY 2007 MK 14 MOD 2 Canisters. It covers the renewal and upgrade of 145 existing canisters and the manufacturing of 97 new MK 14 canisters, and includes packaging, handling, storage, transportation equipment, and FY07 reconfigurable coding plug assemblies. Work will be performed in Aberdeen, SD; deliveries are expected to begin by summer 2008, and are expected to be complete by January 2009. BAE release.
MK 14 canisters for the MK 41 vertical launching system, store, transport in safety, and enable loading of Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles into the MK 41 vertical launching systems aboard DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and CG-47 Ticonderoga Class cruisers.
“This contract modification will bring the total of renewed and upgraded canisters under this contract to 1036 MK 14 canisters and the production of 97 MK 14 Mod 2 canisters,” said Gary Tatge, BAE’s program manager of the MK 41 VLS and canisters.
March 13/07: Lockheed Martin Corp. Maritime System and Sensors – Marine Systems in Baltimore, MD received a $16.1 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-98-C-5363) to provide MK 41 Baseline VII Vertical Launching System launcher ship sets for 3 Royal Australian Navy Air Warfare Destroyer Class (Project SEA 4000) ships and Spain’s new F100 Alvaro de Bazan Class frigate [F-105, unnamed as of this writing] under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program.
The modification combines purchases for the governments of Australia (73%) and Spain (27%), and includes the labor associated with production of installation and checkout (INCO) spares, INCO special tools and test equipment, onboard repair parts and other ancillary equipment. Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD and is expected to be completed by December 2009.
Jan 30/07: Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD received a $5.6 million cost-plus-award-fee modification under previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5453). It exercises options for technical engineering services in support of MK 41 Vertical Launching System Integration for the Governments of Spain (60%); Australia (37%); Germany (2%); and Korea (1%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program.
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (80%) and Ventura, CA (20%), and is expected to be complete by October 2008.
Nov 20/06: Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2) Littoral Ships and Systems in Baltimore, MD received $26.6 million to exercise an option under previously awarded contract (N00104-01-D-ZD52) for the manufacture of spare and repair parts used in the MK-41 Vertical Launching System. This will be an undefinitized contractual action for the MK-41 Vertical Launching System Performance Based Logistics (PBL) supply support contract. Work will be performed in Ventura, CA (85%) and Baltimore, MD (15%) and is expected to be complete by November 2010. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Nov 9/06: Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD received an $8.7 million cost-plus-award-fee contract modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5453) to provide funding for technical instructions that will authorize engineering and technical services support for logistics (requisition and repairs), system integration, product improvement, and production support of MK 41 VLS equipment for new construction ships. This is referred to as “exercise options for engineering and technical services in support of the FY 2007 Vertical Launching System (VLS) Depot, Installation & Check-out (INCO), and logistic requirements.”
Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (86%) and Ventura, CA (14%) and the work is expected to be complete by October 2007 (N00024-04-C-5453).
Nov 9/06: Lockheed Martin Maritime System and Sensors/ Littoral Ships and Systems in Baltimore, MD received a $60.7 million firm-fixed-price modification under previously awarded contract (N00024-98-C-5363) for procurement of four MK 41, MOD 15 Baseline VII, Vertical Launcher Ship (VLS) Sets. This work is taking place on behalf the Governments of Australia (73.2%) and Spain (26.8%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program.
Lockheed will also provide launcher support equipment and the associated labor for establishing material requisitions, program scheduling requirements, and establishment of purchase orders with suppliers and performance of necessary business and production operations. Work will be performed in Baltimore, MD (52.7%), Minneapolis, MN (22%), Aberdeen, SD (8%), Aiken, SC (7%), Ft. Totten, ND (5.2%), and East Elmhurst, NY (5.1%), and is expected to be complete by December 2008.
Nov 1/06: BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP in Minneapolis, MN received $8.6 million fixed-price-plus-award-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5454) for procurement of MK 25 MOD 0 canisters, packaging, handling, storage, and transportation equipment, reconfigurable coding plug assemblies and explosive bolts for Navy and NATO SeaSparrow Program Office (NSPO) foreign government requirements. MK 25 canisters for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System store, transport in safety, and enable loading of the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) into the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems aboard Navy ships. This modification combines efforts for the US Navy (57%) and the Governments of Germany (32%) and Spain (11%) under the foreign military sales program. Work will be performed in Aberdeen, SD and is expected to be complete by December 2008.
Sept 15/06: BAE Systems Land & Armaments LP in Minneapolis, MN received a $15.6 million fixed-price, award-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5454) for procurement of FY 2006 Mk. 13 MOD 0 Canisters for FY 2006 Navy and Foreign Military Sales, including packaging, handling, storage, and transportation equipment, and FY 2006 Reconfigurable Coding Plug Assemblies.
Mk 13 canisters for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System store, transport in safety, and enable loading of SM-2 Standard air defense missiles into the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems aboard various US and foreign ships [1]. Work will be performed in Aberdeen, SD and is expected to be complete by January 2008. This modification supports requirements for the US Navy (16%); the Governments of Japan (30%) and South Korea (25%) under the Foreign Military Sales program; and the Governments of Germany (20%) and The Netherlands (9%) under a Memorandum of Understanding.
April 10/06: Lockheed Martin Corp. Maritime System and Sensors – Marine Systems in Baltimore, MD received a $50.6 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-98-C-5363). The contract modification provides funding for the procurement of the hardware, design, fabrication and delivery of 36 MK 41 VLS Baseline VII modules, with sets of 12 being installed on each of three new DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. This modification completes the procurement of the modules initiated by a $27 million August 2005 contract awarded in August 2005 for the purchase of long-lead materials.
Design and fabrication work will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s Middle River, MD, facility outside Baltimore, while other work takes place in Aberdeen, SD (40%); Minneapolis, MN (10%). Delivery is scheduled to be complete in 2010. See also Lockheed release.
March 22/06: BAE Systems and Armaments, LP in Minneapolis, MN received a $6.4 million fixed-price-plus-award-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5464) for procurement of Mk 14 MOD 2 Canisters for FY 2006 USN requirements, including packaging, handling, storage, and transportation equipment, and FY 06 Reconfigurable Coding Plug Assemblies. Mk 14 canisters for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System store, transport in safety, and enable loading of Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles into MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems like the ones aboard the USA’s DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and CG-47 Ticonderoga Class cruisers. Work will be performed at Aberdeen, SD and is expected to be complete by January 2008. This contract was not competitively procured.
Feb 20/06: Lockheed Martin received a $5.4 million contract modification from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to continue providing technical and engineering support services for the MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) program. The modification includes $4.4 million for Lockheed Martin to perform VLS Baseline VII design engineering support to the MK 41. The work includes VLS tactical software updates, auto test equipment maintenance, and other engineering support for Baseline VII that will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s Baltimore facility. In addition, $1 million goes to support the VLS Depot at the company’s Life Cycle Support facility in Ventura, CA. See Lockheed release.
Dec 30/06: BAE Systems and Armaments, LP in Minneapolis, MN received a $9.8 million fixed-price-plus-award-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-5464) for procurement of FY 2006 Mk 14 MOD 2 canisters for FY 2006 USN requirements, including packaging, handling, storage, and transportation equipment, and FY 2006 reconfigurable coding plug assemblies. Mk 14 canisters for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System store, transport in safety, and enable loading of Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles into MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems like the ones aboard the USA’s DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers and CG-47 Ticonderoga Class cruisers. Work will be performed in Aberdeen, SD and is expected to be complete by January 2008.

Footnotes

fn1. The DefenseLINK release says that the Mk.13s enable loading of Tomahawk missiles, but this is incorrect. Several of the countries listed as part of this contract simply do not employ Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles in any capacity – but they do employ SM-2 air defense missiles, which the MK 13 does accommodate.

Additional Readings

  • BAE Systems – VLS MK 41 Strike Length Missile. Strike length cells, as opposed to Tactical length Mk.41 cells, can accommodate longer missiles like the SM-3 anti-ballistic missile and Tomahawk cruise missile.
  • BAE Systems – VLS Mk 41 Missile. As the U.S. Navy’s Mk 41 canister design agent, BAE Systems has developed the Mk 25 Quad-Pack canister that fits 4 RIM-162 ESSM anti-aircraft missiles into a single Mk.41 cell.
  • Lockheed Martin – Extensible Launching System (ExLS) (video). Fits into a Mk. 41 cell, as an semi-permanent adapter for a range of existing and new munitions. Quad-packed Nulka decoys or RIM-116 RAM missiles, or strike munitions like NLOS-LS/NETFIRES, are some examples. Developed under IRAD funding.
  • DCNS – Sylver. Also a family of launchers, from the small A35 to the strike-length A70.
  • Raytheon – Mk 57 Vertical Launching System brochure [PDF]. Used only on the USA’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class. Will accommodate larger missiles with higher rocket massflow than the Mk.41, uses a more advanced exhaust gas management system, and is designed to lower the risk of secondary explosions if the VLS itself is targeted by advanced cruise missiles.
* Article publicat a Defense Industry Daily. Us el recomanem per la versatilitat de les llançadores Mk 41-

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