The MK 41 VLS is a missile launch system installed below deck onboard surface ships that provides capability to fire a variety of missiles including anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface, and strike.
"MK 41 VLS will continue to be one of the Navy's premier weapon systems well into the 21st century as the system continually evolves to meet the challenges of increasingly complex emergent threats," said Toan Nguyen, the MK 41 VLS Program Manager in the U.S. Navy's Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems. "We have effectively demonstrated the capability to integrate numerous missile types into the MK 41 VLS platform to meet the Navy's mission requirements."
Under this firm-fixed-price contract, Lockheed Martin also will provide launcher spares, upgrade kits and installation equipment.
"The MK 41 VLS is combat proven with more than 3,500 successful missile firings," said Colleen Arthur, director of Lockheed Martin's Integrated Defense Technologies business. "We have supported this system for over 30 years and have leveraged its modular configuration and open architecture to continually upgrade it."
MK 41 VLS has revolutionized U.S. and Allied navy's sea-launched weapons by providing capability to respond to numerous (existing and emergent) warfare threats from the same weapons platform. The MK 41 VLS is in use by 12 navies worldwide with 186 ships in 19 different ship classes. More than 12,000 MK 41 VLS missile cells have been delivered, and additional launchers are on order.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.
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MK 41 Vertical Launching System (MK 41 VLS)
The MK 41 Vertical Launching System (MK 41 VLS) is a missile launch system used on Navy surface ships. It’s installed below deck to provide surface navies the capability to fire a variety of missiles including anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface, and strike.
MK 41 VLS is currently deployed at sea in 13 different configurations, ranging from a single module with eight cells to 16 modules with 122 cells. The launcher has completed integration or is currently being integrated with 18 different ship classes and 11 different weapon control systems for 12 different navies.
The MK 41 VLS is available in three different sizes to meet most hull and mission requirements:
- The Strike length MK 41 is the largest system accommodating missiles from every warfare mission.
- The Tactical length is over 7 feet shorter than the Strike length and can accommodate a variety of missiles up to approximately 18.5 feet in length.
- The Self-Defense Launcher (SDL) is specifically designed for ship self defense. SDL is shorter and lighter than the other variants. Its size and weight make it ideal for smaller ships such as corvettes and frigates and for aircraft carriers with limited deck and hull space
MK 41 has become the worldwide launcher of choice for navies around the globe. It’s a revolutionary missile launching system that eliminates all of the problems of conventional and single purpose launchers. Following are some key highlights:
- Revolutionary Launch Control System incorporates latest technologies:
- LAN architecture
- Fiber optic communications
- Cell-based launch control architecture
- Designed to meet emerging mission requirements
- Flexible, modular mechanical configuration
- Multi-missile capability
- Proven in combat >99 reliability
- Any missile, any cell