US Navy updates weapons

The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $23.2m firm fixed price contract modification to upgrade the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on Ticonderoga guided missile cruisers.

The modification is being made to a contract between Lockheed Martin and the Naval Sea Systems Command as part of the navy’s Cruiser Modernisation Program, which is to update the ship’s combat systems, hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

Lockheed Martin will provide new electronics hardware to upgrade the MK 41 VLS, which was originally designed for the navy’s Aegis-equipped guided missile cruiser, to Baseline VII on two of the 16 modules on CG 47-class ships. The upgrade will extend the multi-mission launching system capability to include the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).

The latest Baseline VII equipment combines Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) components with ethernet communications and fibre optic channels.

According to Lockheed Martin, more than 11,000 MK 41 VLS missile cells have been delivered or are on order.