Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has awarded a contract to BAE Systems to procure modernized Mk 45 naval guns, the company announced Monday.
The deal is a modification to a previous 10-gun contract and is worth $46.8 million, bringing the value of the previously issued contract to more than $176.6 million and now providing for a total of 14 Mk 45 naval guns -- the most widely deployed weapon system within the U.S. Navy, and in foreign navies.
The Mod 4 configuration on the Mk 45 increases the firepower and range of the weapon system, while decreasing its overall weight, company officials say. The Mk 45 also has a fully digitized control system that provides for better computing power through a touch-screen user interface.
"The Mk 45 is the industry standard for large caliber naval guns, and the Mod 4 updates make the system easier to integrate onto the ship and more adaptable to advanced munitions," Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems, said in a press release.
"As the world leader in developing and manufacturing maritime guns, we are committed to producing reliable and affordable technology that meets the warfighter's needs today and well into the future."
Work on the Mk 45 Mod 4 conversions will occur in Louisville, Ky., with support from the company's supplier base, and is expected to be complete by 2021.