Burtek Enterprises has secured a major contract to provide hardware for the US Navy’s MK41 vertical launching system (VLS) from Lockheed Martin.

Under the contract, Burtek will manufacture the upper eight cell deck structure and all outboard mechanical structures below the deck surrounding the launch cells.

The contract covers the delivery of components for 128 VLS systems. It also includes an option to support additional 48 systems.

Burtek Group president and CEO Jeff Daniel said: "The MK41 VLS contract from Lockheed Martin is a testament to our strategic initiatives to diversify our capabilities, and our perseverance in the defence sector in southeast Michigan.

"This aligns with our goals of expanding our footprint, ultimately providing our customers with the best value in technology, capacity and logistics."

Work under this contract will be performed in Chesterfield, Missouri, US.

"The MK41 VLS contract from Lockheed Martin is a testament to our strategic initiatives to diversify our capabilities."

First launched in 1984, the MK41VLS is designed to fire a wide range of missiles, primarily off of US Navy cruisers and destroyers.

The VLS is claimed to be the only launching system capable of simultaneously accommodating the weapon control system and the missiles of every war fighting mission area such as anti-aircraft, anti-surface, antisubmarine and land attack.

The systems have been deployed on approximately 200 ships by the US and its allied navies. It has been combat proven with more than 3,800 successful firings worldwide.

In June 2014, Lockheed Martin received a contract by the US Navy to provide engineering design services for its VLS.

Work under this contract includes software development, the integration of VLS to new vessels, technical refresh, systems engineering and life-cycle support.

Image: A Tomahawk missile being launched from the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System aboard USS Farragut. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist first-class Leah Stiles.