The US Navy has awarded a contract modification to BAE Systems to provide more than 300 canisters for the Mk 41 vertical launching system (VLS).
The latest $38.2m contract modification is a part of a previously awarded five-year, base plus options contract from 2013, which aims to cater for the the navy's canister requirements until 2017.
Work will continue until 2018 at BAE's facilities at Aberdeen, South Dakota, US.
The VLS canisters are used to transport, store and launch different kinds of missiles from navy ships.
The canisters are positioned within the Mk 41 VLS, located below ships' armoured decks, to facilitate maximum protection, and have the ability to accommodate the latest weapon types to meet new mission requirements.
With more than 30 years of experience in the development, production, and support of the system for naval forces worldwide, BAE is the mechanical design agent for the Mk 41 VLS.
In addition to serving as missile shipping and storage containers, the canisters also contain a rocket motor exhaust that acts as a launch rail to support fly out during missile firings and provide identification and firing support to multiple missile types such as Tomahawks, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, and evolved Seasparrow missiles.
The Mk 41 is a shipborne missile canister launching system that can launch missiles, including RIM-66 Standard, RIM-67 Standard, RIM-161 Standard Missile 3, RIM-174 Standard ERAM, Tomahawk, RUM-139 VL-ASROC, RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, and RIM-162 ESSM.
Last year, BAE was awarded another contract modification worth $52.9m by the US Navy to provide additional canisters for the Mk 41 VLS.
Image: BAE to provide additional canisters for US Navy's MK 41 VLS. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.