Lockheed Martin Awarded Navy Contract in Support of Cruiser Conversion and Tactical Tomahawk Integration
BALTIMORE, MD, 14-APR-03 -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $13.8 million U.S. Navy contract to continue the integration of the new precision strike Tactical Tomahawk with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) and provide technology refresh as part of the U.S. Navy's Cruiser Conversion program. The Tactical Tomahawk has recently been fired from the MK 41 VLS at sea and is expected for fleet introduction in 2004.
This contract is in addition to the previously awarded multi-year design agent contract for continued engineering services and technology enhancement for the MK 41 VLS through 2004. The multi-year contract has a potential value of up to $179 million if all options are exercised.
The Navy's Cruiser Conversion program is an effort to upgrade 22 of its 27 Ticonderoga-class Aegis-equipped fleet to maximize the life of the ships and enhance their warfighting capabilities, specifically in the areas of ballistic missile defense, land attack, maritime force protection and operations in the littorals. All 27 cruisers feature Lockheed Martin's Aegis Weapon System, the U.S. Navy's most advanced computer-controlled radar and weapon system. When paired with the MK 41 VLS, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare. All Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers come from the MK 41 VLS.
Through continuous baseline upgrades and new missile integrations, the MK 41 VLS continues to provide the U.S. Navy with the capability to use the newest missiles in naval warfare. More than 11,000 MK 41 VLS missile cells have been delivered or are on order for 173 ships in 11 navies around the world. Among other enhancements as part of the Cruiser Conversion program, the upgraded MK 41 VLS launchers will be able to accommodate the MK 25 Quad Pack Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) canister, housing four ESSM missiles in a single VLS cell. United Defense, a major supplier and teammate on continued launcher development, produces the MK 25. The ESSM provides the Navy with an important mission need in the area of ship self defense.
Dale Bennett, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Marine Systems business segment, stated: We must ensure that we provide the Navy with a missile launcher that continues to accept new missiles and their upgrades over time. Our goal is to ensure that the MK 41 VLS remains technologically cutting edge over the entire life of the ship, enabling the Navy to maximize all of its available resources and ensure maritime supremacy for decades to come.