The US Navy has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to provide engineering design services for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) used on the Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.

Under the $17m contract, the company will provide engineering services including missile integration, software development, integration of VLS into new ships, technical refresh, systems engineering and life-cycle support for mk41 VLS.

The contract has options that, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $104m over four years.

Work will be carried out at Lockheed Martin facilities in Maryland and California.

The multimissile mk41 launcher provides the ability to respond to a wide range of threats including anti-air, anti-submarine, ship self-defence, land attack and ballistic missile defence.