Australia has been named in a US$195 million US Navy contract for MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems with Lockheed Martin.
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Under the deal, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems will supply the system modules and ancillary hardware for the US Navy (71 per cent), Canada (18 per cent), and Australia (11 per cent) under the foreign military sales program, according to details published by the US Department of Defense on 23 May.
The contract, to be completed by June 2027, also has additional options, which if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to US$643 million and push the completion date back to July 2030.
The MK 41 Vertical Launching System has been installed below deck on United States Navy surface combatants such as Ticonderoga Class guided missile cruisers, Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers, and multiple allied Navy platforms.
The system can launch multiple standard missile variants, Tomahawk, Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket, and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.
It can provide coverage for anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, land attack and ballistic missile defence. US records show the MK 41 VLS has successfully launched over 4,200 missiles with approximately a 99 per cent launch success rate since program inception.
Work will be performed in New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Missouri, California, Virginia, and other locations.
FMS Australia funds would amount to around US$22 million.