BAE Systems Land & Armaments LP is awarded a $41,528,204 contract modification for Mk 21 mod 2 (SM-3); and Mk 21 mod 3 (SM-6) canisters in support of the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS).
The firm-fixed-price modification, worth around $41.5 million, is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Fiscal 2018 weapons procurement (Navy); fiscal 2018 Defense-wide procurement; and fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount will be obligated at time of award.
The Mk 41 VLS provides a missile launching system for CG 47 Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers and DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, the principal surface combatants of the U.S. Navy, as well as surface combatants of allied navies.
This effort includes the manufacture, production and test of Mk 21 mod 2 and Mk 21 mod 3 canisters. The canisters provide rocket motor exhaust gas containment and a launch rail during missile firing. The canisters also serve as missile shipping and storage containers.
Work will be performed in Aberdeen, South Dakota (90 percent); and Minneapolis, Minnesota (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by August 2021.
Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS)
The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS) is a shipborne missile canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The Vertical Launch System (VLS) concept was derived from work on the Aegis Combat System.
The Mk 41 is capable of firing the following missiles: RIM-66 Standard, RIM-67 Standard, RIM-161 Standard Missile 3, RIM-174 Standard ERAM, RGM-109 Tomahawk, RUM-139 VL-ASROC, RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, and RIM-162 ESSM.
The missiles are pre-loaded into “canisters”, which are then loaded into the individual “cells” of the launcher. Launcher cells are fitted to ships in 8 cell (2 rows of 4) modules that share a common uptake hatch (exhaust system) sited between the two rows.
Mk 41 VLS adopts modular design concept, which result in different versions that vary in size and weight due to different “canisters” in various modules. The height (missile length) of the launcher comes in three sizes: 209 inches (5.3 m) for the self-defense version, 266 inches (6.8 m) for the tactical version, and 303 inches (7.7 m) for the strike version. The empty weight for an 8-cell module is 26,800 pounds (12,200 kg) for the self-defense version, 29,800 pounds (13,500 kg) for the tactical version, and 32,000 pounds (15,000 kg) for the strike version.