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BAE secures US$955m contract to supply US Navy VLS canisters

The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a new five-year, US$955 million deal to produce multiple types of Vertical Launching System (VLS) canisters for both the US Navy and allied navies.

The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a new five-year, US$955 million deal to produce multiple types of Vertical Launching System (VLS) canisters for both the US Navy and allied navies.

BAE Systems has secured the contract to produce multiple types of VLS canisters with a total lifetime maximum value of $955 million.

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The initial contract was awarded in February with $24 million funded, followed by contract modifications of $99 million and $43 million received in March and May, respectively. Options on the contract include additional canister types for future Navy production requirements.

Brent Butcher, vice president and general manager of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems, said, "These canisters are a key element of the Navy’s Vertical Launching System, and our experience includes 30 years of VLS production, integration and testing to support this world-class capability."

VLS canisters serve in a multifaceted role as containers for missile shipping and storage as well as launch tubes when loaded into the VLS. They also provide identification and firing support to multiple missile types, including the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, Standard Missile-2, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, and the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile.

"The Navy will continue to benefit from our high-quality canisters and lean, efficient operations, which translate into the best possible value for our customers," Butcher added. 

Under this latest contract, BAE Systems will produce canisters not only for the US fleet but also for allied nations under a foreign military sales program.

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Deliveries for the initial order are expected to begin in early 2021, and if all options are exercised, the contract could support the production of canisters over a five-year period, with deliveries extending into 2025.

The VLS Mk 41 is a highly survivable system with missiles and associated hardware located below the armoured deck. Redundant fire control and launcher interface links also enhance system survivability in casualty situations.

The VLS Mk 41 capability to simultaneously prepare two missiles in each eight-cell launcher module allows for fast reaction to multiple threats with concentrated, continuous firepower.

Multi-mode operation allows simultaneous interface and missile preparation for discrete anti-aircraft, anti-submarine warfare, strike, naval surface fire support and ballistic missile defence missions.

The VLS Mk 41 is highly adaptable to accommodate the latest weapon types to meet new mission requirements.

BAE Systems has developed the Mk 25 Quad-Pack canister, which can vastly increase a ship's self-defence capability. The Mk 25 Quad-Pack allows the system to store and fire four Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSMs) in a canister space that normally contains a single weapon.

Work on the new contract will be performed at the BAE Systems production facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota, with engineering and program support in Minneapolis.

BAE secures US$955m contract to supply US Navy VLS canisters
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