The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $46.8 million contract option to deliver Mk 45 Naval Guns.
The contract modification calls for upgrading existing guns to the Mod 4 configuration to increase the firepower and extend the range of the weapons. The Mod 4 variant will be the same one used by the new Type 26 Frigates in Royal Navy service.
This modification to the initial 10-gun contract brings the full value of the award to $176.8 million for the 14 guns.
Bae say that the Mk 45 is ‘the lightest, most compact, 5-inch fully automatic naval gun in the world and is the most widely deployed to the US Navy and other allied navies’.
Updates to the Mod 4 configuration include a structurally strengthened gun mount and more advanced electronics. With its stronger mount, the gun can achieve 50 percent higher firing energy, allowing munitions or projectiles to travel faster and farther than previous versions say the company. Its new fully digitised control system also provides significantly greater computing power and features a touch-screen user interface.
“The Mk 45 is the industry standard for large caliber naval guns, and the Mod 4 updates make the system easier to integrate onto the ship and more adaptable to advanced munitions,” said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems.
“As the world leader in developing and manufacturing maritime guns, we are committed to producing reliable and affordable technology that meets needs today and well into the future.”