Leonardo DRS has secured a $62m contract to deliver critical electronics for missile launch capabilities for the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) used by the US Navy and its allies.

As per the terms of the contract, the Leonardo DRS Airborne & Intelligence Systems business unit will manufacture and offer support for 118 motor control panels.

These panels, considered to be critical components used on the VLS launch module, will enable the operator to control the opening and closing of the launch tube hatches, plenum drain valve and deluge while interfacing with the launch sequencer.

Leonardo DRS’s Airborne and Intelligence Systems line of business senior director of mission support Dave Hammond said: “We have supplied motor control panels and other electronic control systems to the MK 41 VLS programme for more than 30 years in support of this important mission.

“This contract exemplifies our commitment to supply quality electronics to support the US Navy and allied navies.”

Claimed to be a flexible shipborne missile launching system, MK 41 VLS is designed to accept any missile into any cell whilst providing a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats.

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Around 1,500 MK 41 VLSs have been deployed on US Navy surface ships, as well as on the vessels of over 11 allied navies.

This system needs minimal staffing and training as against other ship-based missile launch systems.

The MK 41 can launch several kinds of missiles in support of different warfighting missions, including surface-to-surface, anti-air, strike and anti-submarine missions.

Each cell in a launch module comes with options for different missiles to meet the requirements of different missions.

The company’s Fort Walton Beach, Florida facility will build the motor control panel, status panel, power distribution panels, junction boxes and spares.