Lockheed Martin and teammate United Defense
, LP, have used experience with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) to develop a new Single Cell (SCL) launcher.
The SCL is intended for ships either too small for the traditional eight-cell MK 41 or with mission requirements not requiring an eight-cell launcher.
The SCL will provide an affordable solution for improved ship self defense requirements on aircraft carriers, large-deck amphibious ships, and other smaller surface combatants, such as corvettes and frigates
. SCL is based on proven MK 41 technology and incorporates the latest Baseline VII Launch Control System (LCS), and other Computer-off-the-Shelf (COTS) components.
Additionally, SCL will integrate the MK 25 Quad Pack Canister, capable of accommodating the launch of four Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles from one missile cell. The MK 25 has already been integrated with the MK 41, providing Lockheed Martin engineers the experience to execute a successful integration with the SCL. Due to its single cell modularity, the SCL can be configured in any number to meet the defined mission.
According to Jim Tucker, director of launching systems at Lockheed Martin
Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems (NE&SS)-Marine Systems, "The SCL modularity will be unmatched by any current U.S. Navy missile system and will provide the flexibility needed to meet missile launcher requirements for a variety of ship classes."
Dale Bennett, vice president and general manager, NE&SS-Marine Systems, noted that "The U.S. Navy already has over 20 years and $500 million invested in the MK 41, and any potential SCL customer will truly benefit from the shared components, technical and logistics support currently in place. The fact that the MK 41 is found aboard 16 different ship classes in 11 navies worldwide speaks volumes about our experience and global acceptance in the launcher business." A prototype of the SCL is scheduled for completion later this year and a restrained test firing will be conducted in late 2002 or early 2003.