This award follows the MOD’s announcement of BAE Systems as the preferred bidder last year after a competitive process.
Under the contract, the Company will manufacture three MIFS Integrated Gunnery Systems (IGS) and one trainer system for the UK Royal Navy. The MIFS IGS includes the 5-inch, 62-caliber Mk 45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System, along with an automated ammunition handling system, gun fire control system, and qualified ammunition. The contract includes an option for five additional systems for the remainder of the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 fleet.
UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin MP, said: “Our growing defence budget means we can invest in a cutting edge weapon system for the Royal Navy’s next generation Global Combat Ship at the best value for taxpayers. Along with sustaining highly skilled jobs across the country, this contract underlines our commitment and demonstrates continued momentum in the program.”
Joe Senftle, Vice President and General Manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems, said: “Our teams in the US and UK will bring unrivalled skills and expertise to the MIFS development and production. The world-leading Mk 45 will provide the Royal Navy with a proven, reliable, and highly-effective system that is adaptable to firing a wide range of today’s ammunition, as well as future, precision-guided munitions currently in development.”
The Mk 45 is in service with the US Navy and 10 other allied nations. More than 240 Mk 45 guns have been delivered into service globally.
Work on the contract for the UK Type 26 ships will be performed at BAE Systems’ facilities at Louisville, Kentucky, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the US and at Barrow-in-Furness, Frimley, and Glascoed in the UK, with deliveries expected from 2020.
The UK Government committed to buy eight of the advanced Type 26 Global Combat Ships in its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, which will in time replace the anti-submarine warfare Type 23 frigates. Type 26 will be globally deployable and capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. The ship has been designed with an acoustically quiet hull and there is flexibility in the design to allow Type 26 to be upgraded as new technology develops to ensure that it remains relevant to future requirements.