BAE Systems has secured a contract to deliver Mk 45 Maritime Indirect Fire Systems (MIFS) for the UK Royal Navy’s (RN) City-class Type 26 frigates.

The contract is valued at $219m.

Work under this deal involves the delivery and integration of a total of five Mk 45 systems onto the RN’s future Type 26 frigates, providing them with various mission-critical advantages at the sea.

BAE Systems’ MIFS features a 5in, 62-calibre MK 45 4A naval artillery system, along with an Ammunition Handling System, which is fully automated.

The associated engineering, as well as programme support work, will be carried out by the company at its production facilities in Minneapolis, Louisville and Kentucky in the US.

The company said that the main equipment for the first of five Mk 45 MIFS has already been dispatched at the end of last year.

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The system is now expected to undergo final installation later this year.

Once installed, the new system will boost crew productivity, minimise sailor safety hazards and enhance the overall operational capability of new warships.

BAE Systems weapon systems product line vice-president Brent Butcher said: “We have innovated and customised the Mk 45 system to provide a critical and reliable fully automatic ammunition handling solution that revolutionises medium and large calibre naval gunnery.

“The customised, lightweight and compact Mk 45 gun system with AHS provides our customers commonality with the US Navy, a highly reliable system with the security of lifecycle support, and access to future technology upgrades.”

The Type 26 programme, also known as Global Combat Ship programme, involves the development of eight anti-submarine warfare frigates.

Delivery of the first batch, comprising three vessels, is slated to complete by 2025.