Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Raytheon Missile Systems received a $199.5 million contract to upgrade the Navy's MK 15 Close-In Weapon System, the Defense Department announced.
The contract, announced on Friday, includes options which can bring its value to $367.1 million. It calls for upgrades, conversions and system overhauls to the Navy's CIWS weapons, and associated hardware.
The weapons system provides ships with an inner layer defense capability against anti-ship missiles and aircraft threats which have penetrated other defenses. It detects, evaluates, tracks, engages and performs kill assessments against incoming missiles, as well as high speed surface craft, aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial systems.
The system, first installed on the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea in 1980 and later regularly upgraded, employs a 20 mm gun which can fire 4,500 rounds per minute.
The contracted work will largely be performed at Raytheon facilities in Louisville, Ky., and Tucson, Ariz., with an expected completion date of October 2023.
The U.S. government will pay 85 percent of the contract, with the remainder paid by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Britain under the Foreign Military Sales program.