BAE Systems awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to equip the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ship with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS).
“Lockheed Martin has a long and successful partnership with the Royal Navy, and we look forward to working with BAE Systems to integrate the MK 41 VLS with the Type 26,” said Paul Livingston, Group Managing Director of Lockheed Martin UK Rotary and Mission Systems. “The MK 41 VLS will provide the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships with a proven and cost-effective vertical launching solution.”
Each Type 26 will be equipped with three 8-cell MK 41 VLS modules. BAE Systems’ initial order includes nine MK 41 VLS modules, enough for the first three ships of the class.
There have been more than 3,850 successful firings worldwide. MK41 VLS has been successfully integrated and is in service with the U.S. and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships representing 20 ship classes.
CAE, L3 Technologies, MDA and Ultra, along with BAE and Lockheed Martin have teamed up to offer the Type 26 Frigate to Canada.
Although Lockheed Martin Canada is leading the team, the Type 26 is a British vessel that was designed by BAE Systems. The first of eight planned Type 26 frigates is currently under construction for the British Royal Navy and promises to be a capable vessel if Canada adopts it.
Speculation is mounting that Canada is seriously considering the Type 26 Frigate for its ‘Canadian Surface Combatant’ project.
Lockheed Martin, BAE and the host of Canadian, European and American firms have modified the basic Type 26 design for Canada’s requirements. Chief among the modifications is the addition of the indigenous Canadian-designed CMS 30 combat management system, which is currently installed onboard the upgraded Halifax-class frigates that are the mainstay of the Canadian fleet.
However, the Type 26 is not the sole competitor for the CSC program. Other bidders are submitting the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate design and the French/Italian FREMM design. But regardless of who ultimately wins the CSC design contest, the prime contractor to build the ships will be Irving Shipbuilding Inc