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BAE Systems awarded £54million contract

BAE Systems has been given a £54m ($76m) contract modification to produce additional Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters for the U.S. Navy.

The canisters play a critical role in storing, transporting and firing a range of offensive and defensive missiles from the deck of the Navy's guided-missile cruisers and destroyers.

Brent Butcher, vice president of the Weapons Systems product line at BAE systems, said: "The VLS is a highly-survivable and versatile system and our canisters play a key role in equipping the Navy with this world-class capability. BAE Systems has partnered with the Navy and its allies for more than 30 years to provide them with the most flexible and reliable weapon systems to execute a variety of missions effectively, and we look forward to continuing that commitment with this VLS technology."

Under the contract now totaling £207m ($306 million), BAE Systems, which has an office in Gloucester, will produce canisters for the Mk 13, Mk 14, Mk 25, Mk 29 and other hardware for the Navy. The contract will also support purchases from the governments of Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey under a Foreign Military Sales programme.

VLS canisters serve in a multifaceted role 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 (TLAM), Standard Missile-2, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the vertical launch anti-submarine rocket known as ASROC.

Work on the contract modification will be performed at the BAE Systems production facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota, through 2023, with engineering and programme support in Minneapolis. The new modification will allow BAE Systems to add 25 jobs to its Aberdeen facility.

Photo credit: BAE Systems

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