LOCKHEED MARTIN MK 41 VLS SUCCESSFULLY FIRES FIRST INTERNATIONAL NAVY EVOLVED SEA SPARROW MISSILE
BALTIMORE, MD, 28-JAN-03 -- Lockheed Martin's MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) recently fired the first Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) from an international navy ship. The Royal Australian Navy's HMAS WARRAMUNGA, an Anzac-class frigate outfitted with MK 41 VLS, used an ESSM to successfully engage a towed, radially inbound test target. The MK 41 VLS, an eight-cell below deck missile launching system developed by the Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Marine Systems (NE&SS) unit of Lockheed Martin, was originally designed for the Navy's Aegis guided missile cruisers to provide air threat protection for naval battle groups. Over the years, the MK 41 VLS has evolved into a multi-missile, multi-mission launcher, supporting the transformation of roles and missions of world navies. No other naval missile launcher is capable of launching missiles for every naval warfare mission, including anti-air, anti-submarine, ship self-defense, land attack, and ballistic missile defense. In service aboard 173 ships, from 16 different ship classes in 11 navies, the MK 41 VLS is truly international in scope. Outfitted with the U.S. Navy qualified MK 25 Quad Pack Canister, MK 41 VLS is capable of launching four ESSMs from just one VLS cell.
According to Jim Tucker, director of launching systems at NE&SS-Marine Systems, The ease with which the ESSM was successfully integrated in the Australian navy reflects the advantages inherent in the flexible, reliable, and open system architecture design of MK 41 VLS and shows why it is the launcher of choice for so many of the NATO Sea Sparrow navies.
Dale Bennett, vice president and general manager of NE&SS-Marine Systems, added Nearly half of our MK 41 VLS business is international, and we are hard at work in supporting the eleven MK 41 VLS-equipped navies around the world to ensure the smooth integration of new missiles as they become available on the international market.
Lockheed Martin NE&SS provides surface ship and submarine weapon systems, antisubmarine warfare and ocean surveillance systems, missile launching systems, radar and sensor systems, ship systems integration services and other advanced systems and services to customers worldwide. NE&SS is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) headquartered in Bethesda, MD. The corporation's principal business areas are aeronautics, space, systems integration and technology services.