The USN has awarded BAE Systems a contract with a lifetime maximum value of $955 million (€839 million) to produce multiple types of Vertical Launching System (VLS) canisters, the company announced on 11 June.

The initial order under this new contract, which could cover a five-year production period if all options are exercised, was awarded in February with $24 million funded, followed by contract modifications of $99 million and $43 million received in March and May respectively. Options on the contract include additional canister types for future Navy production requirements.

“These canisters are a key element of the Navy’s Vertical Launching System, and our experience includes 30 years of VLS production, integration and testing to support this world-class capability,” explained Brent Butcher, VP/General Manager of the Weapon Systems product line at BAE Systems. “The Navy will continue to benefit from our high-quality canisters and lean, efficient operations, which translate into the best possible value for our customers.”

VLS canisters serve in multiple roles as containers for missile shipping and storage as well as launch tubes when loaded into the VLS. They also provide identification and firing support to multiple missile types, including the TOMAHAWK Land Attack Missile, STANDARD Missiles-2, -3 and -6 and the Evolved SeaSparrow. Under this latest contract, BAE Systems will produce canisters not only for US and allied armed forces under the Foreign Military Sales programme. Deliveries for the initial order are expected to begin in early 2021.

The new contract covers a variety of VLS canisters. (Photo: BAE Systems)

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