Havant firm scoops contract to build weapons for new navy ship

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TECH gurus in Havant will be responsible for building a new weapons system for the Royal Navy’s latest breed of frigates.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded the contract by BAE Systems to build the MK 41 vertical launching system (VLS) for the Type 26.

The weapon is the only system capable of launching anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike-length missiles.

Once integrated into the Type 26s, the weapon system will offer the Senior Service ‘unparalleled flexibility and capability’, Lockheed Martin said.

Paul Livingston, group managing director for of Lockheed Martin UK rotary and mission systems, said: ‘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.’

There have been more than 3,850 successful firings worldwide with the MK 41 having been successfully integrated into service with the US and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships.

‘The vertical launch system will be a key part of the capability of the new frigate fleet, and an essential tool for Royal Navy in operations to defend the UK and her interests,’ said Mike Holstead, head of the Type 26 scheme at Defence Equipment and Support, the Ministry of Defence’s procurement wing.

The new frigates will replace the ageing Type 23 class. The first vessels are expected to come into service in the early 2020s and will be key in protecting the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.