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Lockheed Martin contract to produce launch sequencer MK 5 Mod 2 of Vertical Launch System.

| 2020

Lockheed Martin Corp. Rotary and Mission Systems, Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $48,965,154 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N63394-20-C0004 to exercise options for launch sequencer MK 5 Mod 2 production units in support of the Vertical Launch System.
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Lockheed Martin contract to produce launch sequencer MK 5 Mod 2 of Vertical Launch System 925 001 Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Ken Flowe, from Spartanburg, S.C., performs maintenance on the Mark 41 vertical launching system aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd DDG 100) (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The Vertical Launch System provides area and self-defense, anti-air warfare capabilities, counter-air and land attack cruise missile defense and surface and subsurface warfare capabilities.

Over the last twenty years, the battle-proven Lockheed Martin Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (MK 41 VLS) has revolutionized naval warfare, expanding the mission capability of surface combatants via its unique level of simultaneous multi-mission capacity. Delivering the widest range of ballistic ordinance available from a shipboard system, from SeaSparrows to Tomahawk cruise missiles, the system combines unmatched flexibility and unflinching performance on military ships stationed around the globe.

According to naval military experts, a VLS (Vertical Launching System) requires error-free communication between three primary components: The Launch Sequencer, Launch Control Unit (LCU), and the man-machine interface, the Weapon Control System (WCS).

When a launch order is given, the WCS (Weapon Control System) fires a signal to one of two parallel LCU’s in each eight-cell launcher module, which issues prelaunch and launch commands for the selected missile. During normal operation one LCU controls the Launch Sequencer — the critical communication link between the upstream fire control systems and the missile itself — allowing the module to fire armament in tandem from two individual cells. Either LCU can control all eight cells if the other suffers damage.

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