BALTIMORE, March 25 (UPI) -- An upgraded production line for naval vertical missile launchers has been unveiled at a Lockheed Martin factory in Maryland.
The production line for MK 41 Vertical Launching System is the result of a $235.3 million contract issued by the U.S. Navy in 2014 for continued production of the launcher, which is primarily used on cruisers and destroyers.
The contract provides for the launcher's electronic and mechanical modules and related equipment, including launch control units, various electrical boxes and the mechanical structure, and to perform final assembly and testing.
"In partnership with the U.S. Navy, we have been delivering, modernizing and supporting the MK 41 VLS system for more than 30 years," said Stephanie C. Hill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Ship & Aviation Systems business. "We, along with our suppliers in Maryland and all over the nation, look forward to continuing to serve our customer with this critical national defense capability."
The MK 41 VLS provides the capability to launch anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike missiles. It can also receive commands from multiple weapon control systems.
The first launcher was produced by Lockheed Martin in 1984 and is in use on nearly 200 ships of the United States and allied nations.