BAE Systems awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to equip the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ship with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS).
The MK 41 VLS is the only system capable of launching anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike-length missiles. Once integrated with the Type 26, the MK 41 VLS will offer the Royal Navy unparalleled flexibility and capability.
There have been more than 3,850 successful firings worldwide. MK41 VLS has been successfully integrated and is in service with the U.S. and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships representing 20 ship classes.
“Lockheed Martin has a long and successful partnership with the Royal Navy, and we look forward to working with BAE Systems to integrate the MK 41 VLS with the Type 26,” said Paul Livingston, Group Managing Director of Lockheed Martin UK Rotary and Mission Systems. “The MK 41 VLS will provide the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships with a proven and cost-effective vertical launching solution.”
Each Type 26 will be equipped with three 8-cell MK 41 VLS modules. BAE Systems’ initial order includes nine MK 41 VLS modules, enough for the first three ships of the class.
“The signature of this contract is another important milestone in the ongoing delivery of the UK’s Type 26 program,” said Mike Holstead, head of the Type 26 program at Defence Equipment and Support, the Ministry of Defence’s procurement organization. “The vertical launch system will be a key part of the capability of the new frigate fleet, and an essential tool for Royal Navy in operations to defend the UK and her interests.”
“As momentum builds and GLASGOW, the first of three contracted next generation City Class Type 26 Global Combat Ships, takes shape at our facilities in Glasgow, we are delighted to place this contract with Lockheed Martin,” said Nadia Savage, director of the Type 26 program at BAE Systems. “The Vertical Launching System contributes to our overall combat management system and will further enhance platform flexibility and capability, which are core to the design of the Type 26.”
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be a world-class anti-submarine warfare ship and will replace the Royal Navy’s variant Type 23 frigates. Globally deployable, it will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. The first Type 26 is due to enter service with the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s.
Type 26 frigate
Type 26 frigate is the Royal Navy variant of the Global Combat Ship (GCS) design and manufacture programme of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom.
The frigates, along with the planned Type 31, will replace the Type 23 frigates currently deployed by Royal Navy. There are also plans to export the type.
It will be multi-mission warship designed to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW), air defence and general purpose operations. The ships will have a crew complement of 118.
The contract award to manufacture the Type 26 was announced by BAE Systems on 2 July 2017. The contracts cover the first three ships – the first of which is currently under construction at the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow. A total of eight ships are planned and the contract for the second batch of five ships will be negotiated in the early 2020s.