BAE Systems has won a U.S. Navy competition to serve as the design agent for the mechanical portion of the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).

In a news release, BAE say that the contract calls for BAE Systems to provide design, development, test, product improvement, and sustaining support for current and legacy VLS systems. BAE Systems will also continue to design and support canisters used to store, transport, and launch the missiles from the VLS.

“This award demonstrates that BAE Systems is an industry leader when it comes to the VLS solution for the Navy’s fleet of Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers,” said Brent Butcher, vice president of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems.

“Going forward this contract secures our role in providing the Navy with cutting-edge design and engineering supporting this critical warfighting capability.”

The Mk 41 VLS is capable of launching a broad range of missiles, including the Standard Missile SM-2, SM-3, and SM-6 variants; the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile; the NATO Seasparrow and Evolved Seasparrow; and the Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket.

The firm say that work on this contract begins immediately and will primarily be performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Can we get some of these Mk 41 vls onto our T45s? Two for each would be nice…

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

if they’re going cheap. Then they have to fill them!

Ron
Ron
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agreed, seeing that we intend to have the Mk41s on our T26s then we could start with the T45s. They won’t go to waste as it looks like this system will be around for the next 20-30 years so we could use them also for the T83 when they come on line. The next issue is filling them, I’m sure that the tests can be done, the USN would like to see the SAMPSON capability in the BMD role as would the RN. The VL cruise missile role would also be of use, finally Aster 30s could be tested from… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

Perhaps the way to think about the MK41 on T26 is as a silo that can leverage off-board sensors, whether those are on other ships, aircraft or satellites. For example, a T26 might in future be fitted with Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC). A number of navies are implementing this, not just the USN, so it seems likely the RN will too. That would allow a T26 to use data from sensors on T45/83, AEW platform, F-35B, LEO satellites, allied platforms, etc. It wouldn’t necessarily even need to have CEC, it might use other established comms to receive target information. So… Read more »

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

GHF, I seem to remember something about CEC, I think it was in refrence to the T45 and the reason that its numbers could be reduced to six ships. However it was never fully developed. Strangly enough I could never understand why. My profession is or was signals, thats what I trained in when I was in the army, later in life when I worked on civvy/mil projects I could get a signal anywhere I wanted sometimes by making the kit do jobs that the supplier did not think possible. I did not care how, It might be scatter, line… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

CEC is really of value when you have a number of appropriate platforms to connect together to leverage the capability and all these platforms are working together in the context of a CSG or amphibious group. So the reason we don’t have it is because we probably haven’t had a compelling context up until now; that’s changing with the carriers. Also, the T45-T23 combo doesn’t really offer much value for CEC, because T23 only has Sea Ceptor for air defence. There has also been no AEW platform to tie into them up to now. However, as T26 enter the fleet… Read more »

Quentin63
Quentin63
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

Good morning Ron/all, I have to say what stunning and detailed replies from everyone here. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s angle, thoughts, large and small. I can’t really add anything to what’s been said just that if the T45s are remaining in service for another 10-15 years and are getting radar, software, ew upgrades and upgrades to the Asters I would like to see some affordable additional vls Mk41/ExLs or Camm x 6 silos forward/around the Aster silo (if space and engineering permits), maybe some ADLs to replace the Harpoon launches (if there’s the space) or a least an ability… Read more »

DJ
DJ
29 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Adding mk41 vls to T45 would be an expensive waste of time. Much better to add a couple of ExLS 3 cell units that can be quad packed with CAMM. Each 3 cell unit can hold 12 CAMM. 2 sets gets you 24 missiles, 4 sets gets you 48. If you could mix & match with CAMM-ER, so much the better. ExLS are also much easier to reuse elsewhere when the T45’s retire. T45’s biggest weakness in modern times is its number of missiles. It needs a quad packable option (preferably in addition to rather instead of). A Canadian T26… Read more »

DJ
DJ
29 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Adding mk41 vls to T45 would be an expensive waste of time. Much better to add a couple of ExLS 3 cell units that can be quad packed with CAMM. Each 3 cell unit can hold 12 CAMM. 2 sets gets you 24 missiles, 4 sets gets you 48. If you could mix & match with CAMM-ER, so much the better. ExLS are also much easier to reuse elsewhere when the T45’s retire. T45’s biggest weakness in modern times is its number of missiles. It needs a quad packable option (preferably in addition to rather than instead of). A Canadian… Read more »

Dan
Dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I doubt we will see Mk 41 on the T45 ships at this late stage. If they were going to upgrade them, the time to do it would be when they are dry docked for the power generator upgrades, wouldn’t it? I expect we will see them in the follow-on class of ship.

Quentin63
Quentin63
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

Hi Dan, if the mk41 was added onto the T45 they could potentially be recycled onto a later class. I also wonder why the ExLS 6*4 Camm silos weren’t adopted on the T26 as they have been on the Canadian T26s? Does anyone have an information on the UK 6 pack Camm silos that’s on our T26s?

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin63

There were plenty of comments on the recent HMS Glasgow threads about CAAM Missile Silo’s – Ron5 put a picture up of the 6 Cell arrangement,plenty of info there.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Hi Paul, Ron, ETH, thanks for the link and image. I wonder if they have, 4, 6 and 10 pack versions? The NZ Anzacs have squeezed 20 onto the upper deck shins their phalanx. Surely they can put some of these down alongside and or in fton of the T45 Aster silo. Give it more mass Sam volume and save the Aster’s for higher value targets?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*shins…?… Lol…behind.

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Are these 6 pack vls able to be reloaded at sea? I read some where that they are angled left or right at 5 degrees off the vertical but no sure if this will make things harder or easier to load/reload. It would be nice to have some of these vls on the carriers, in areas that don’t/wouldn’t inhibit the air operations.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin63

Here’s an image – clearly adapted from the launchers on the Type 23s:

0C733BDB-ABBA-43C3-B714-CD21DA212B7A.jpeg
Chris
Chris
1 month ago

BAE wins US Navy contracts for Mk41 VLS, yet the Royal Navy uses the knock off French version. It’s tiring.

James
James
1 month ago

An Under-armed Royal Navy, it has become norm. They think they can sail into hostile waters show flag and impress the Chinese or Russians? Every Royal navy vessel should be armed to the teeth! Specially since the Royal has not much frigates and destroyers , so must make the most of the limited ships it has.

Low numbers, plus not armed well makes it a paper Tigger navy . Sorry I’m just being realistic and would have loved to be more optimistic

Last edited 1 month ago by James
Quill
Quill
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Agreed, it’s a bit disappointing how even with the advanced kit the RN fields such as Sea Ceptor, Aster 30, Storm Shadow, Sampson,F-35s; that we won’t truly have enough provisions or quantity of such things to actually make each of our assets meaningfully armed. Furthermore seeing how much Canada and Australia have committed to their individual versions of the Type 26 Frigate show that even our model will be lacking in ability compared to what they’ll be getting out of the Type 26s in the future. As you described, low numbers but inadequately armed and fitted ships make for a… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quill

Hi Quill, James, yes, agree, I can’t quite understand this “under-arming” thinking on the major RN ships. Even a bit more would be useful. We don’t need to show off with our “missile muscles” or be provocative but having a “big(ger) stick and (still) speak softly” could be even more effective.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago

Ok reality check… So the RN buys MK41 or MK 57…8 tubes per module for around 12mil USD a set under FMS purchase. Then you need to buy the missiles to go in it. A Standard MK6 is around 4-5 Mil dollars a pop. An ABM Standard is around the same price. So you are already, for a one ship 6 tube fit, without spares, support, spare missiles in the Ammo depots, new handling process, training, equipment in the ops room integration into Combat Systems, Risk assessments for a new explosive stores inside a ship, Mutual interference assessments for all… Read more »

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi GB, great replies. Is there even the option of two additional DCN Aster silos on the T45? I believe Quad Camm can be packed into those to give 48 Camm? Even another 8-16 Aster would be pretty useful.

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
1 month ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

Sorry I meant 2*32 = 64 Camm.

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
1 month ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

When you look at the two new super DDX destroyers the Italian navy will get at the end of this decade, we might start to get some “missile envy”…lol. The DDX look like a bit what I imagine a Type 83 could be? 12*8 vls. It’s already designed and about to be built. I and a lot of us here and elsewhere really know that our RN ships could all do with a “bit more” and be fully fitted out as designed first up.

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
1 month ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

I might have the number of silos wrong on the DDX, it may only be 8-10*8 after all. I would have been good to have had the additional 2 T45s in the fleet for a greater spread of SAM/ABM protection and projection.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago

CEC fuses data from other units into a surveillance picture so that units can see what other units see and shoot against hostile targets using off ship sensors . It also allows other units to( and here is the important bit) illuminate and control missiles whilst they are in flight, even if they did not launch them. Most USN Standard missiles are semi active homers. You shoot them off to a future intercept point in the sky. AEGIS does the math and then uses onboard tracking radars to illuminate targets in order of threat and then allocates missiles whilst in… Read more »