March 29 (UPI) -- The Defense Department has announced the award of a $70.6 million contract to BAE Systems & Land Armaments for upgrades to Navy vessels weaponry.
Under the contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, the company, based in Louisville, will overhaul and upgrade gun mounts, weather shields and other elements of ships' armaments.
BAE will primarily employ its Mk 45 Mod 4 package for the modifications, which includes a 62-caliber barrel, strengthened gun and mount subsystems, advanced control system enhancement, and a reduced signature, low maintenance gun shield.
The 127 mm Mark 45 gun is an anti-ship weapon capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, useable in close-in air contacts and to support forces ashore with naval gunfire support.
The modifications provide Naval Surface Fire Support, or NSFS, range of more than 20 nautical miles using the Navy's new 5-inch Cargo projectile, and an improved propelling charge.
The upgrades will apply to armaments on the Navy's DDG-51-class ships, the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers, as well as to the CG-47 class of guided-missile cruisers.
Work on the contract will be performed at BAE Systems' Louisville facility and is expected to be completed by July 2023.