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American naval weapons


Vertical Launching System (VLS)

The MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) is the worldwide standard in shipborne missile launching systems. Under the guidance of the US Navy, Martin Marietta performs the design, development, production, and field support that make the battle-proven VLS the most advanced shipborne missile launching system in the world. The Mk 41 VLS simultaneously supports multiple warfighting capabilities, including antiair warfare, antisubmarine warfare, ship self-defense, strike warfare, and antisurface warfare.
MK 41 is a fixed, vertical, multi-missile storage and firing system that lets Navy vessels launch significant firepower. The capability of VLS to simultaneously prepare one missile in each half of a launcher module allows for fast reaction to multiple threats with concentrated, continuous firepower. The US Navy currently deploys MK 41 VLS - on AEGIS-equipped Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Spruance- and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers - and plans to use it on next generation of surface ships, the LDP17, DD-21 and CG-21. In production since 1982, VLS is continually upgraded to incorporate new technology and integrate new missiles. Additionally, MK 41 VLS is the choice of eight other international navies - including Canada, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand - a number that is expected to grow as a result of significant ongoing international marketing campaigns.
The Vertical Launching System (VLS) Mk 41 is a canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The missile launcher consists of a single eight-cell missile module, capable of launching SEASPARROW missiles used against hostile aircraft, missiles and surface units. Primary units of the VLS are two Launch Control Units, one 8-Cell Module, one 8-Cell System Module, a Remote Launch Enable Panel and a Status Panel.
A new modernization plan for surface combatants would decommission some ships early, but would boost the firepower of the remaining force by adding the Vertical Launch System (VLS).
Missile Canisters in Service and Deployed
Missile SEASPARROW STANDARD Missile-2 Block II, III Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (VLASROC) TOMAHAWK STANDARD Missile-2 Block IV, IVA in development

Jirka Wagner


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