Lockheed Martin has unveiled an upgraded MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) production line at it Middle River facility in Maryland.
The MK 41 VLS program supports more than 150 highly skilled jobs in the Baltimore under a $235.3 million contract that the company signed with the US Navy in 2014 for continued VLS production.
The new production contract saw Lockheed Martin design and implement a new, modern production line which is equipped with 80 new tools that enable optimised production flow and build on the line’s more than 30 year on-time delivery record.
According to the company, the need for modernisation became necessary after Lockheed Martin secured a contract to reestablish deck and hatch production at its Middle River site after more than 20 years.
“We are proud to continue manufacturing the MK 41 VLS in Baltimore County and bringing this critical capability to the fleets of the US Navy and its allies,” said Stephanie C. Hill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Ship & Aviation Systems business.
“In partnership with the US Navy, we have been delivering, modernising and supporting the MK 41 VLS system for more than 30 years. We, along with our suppliers in Maryland and all over the nation, look forward to continuing to serve our customer with this critical national defence capability.”
The MK 41 VLS is the only launching system capable of launching anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike missiles and can receive orders from multiple weapon control systems to handle every warfighting mission.
The MK 41 VLS fires a wide range of missiles, primarily off US Navy cruisers and destroyers, and has been combat proven with more than 3,850 successful firings worldwide and a more than 99% success rate.
The system has been integrated and in service with the US and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships representing 20 ship classes.