BAE Systems, Inc. has received a $219 million (£181 million) contract to equip the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates with five MK 45 Maritime Indirect Fire Systems (MIFS).
The system combines the 5-inch, 62-caliber Mk 45 Mod 4A naval gun system with a fully automated Ammunition Handling System (AHS).
The automated naval gun solution will help the Royal Navy increase crew productivity, reduce sailor safety hazards, and improve the operational capability of the advanced warships as they deliver protection to the Royal Navy’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group.
The Type 26 frigates, the first of which is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s, is expected to be one of the world’s most advanced classes of warships, with the primary purpose of anti-submarine warfare. In addition to its range of advanced weapons and sensors, it will also be capable of countering piracy, delivering humanitarian air and disaster relief.
“We have innovated and customized the Mk 45 system to provide a critical and reliable fully-automatic ammunition handling solution that revolutionizes medium and large caliber naval gunnery,” said Brent Butcher, vice president of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems. “The customized, lightweight and compact Mk 45 gun system with AHS provides our customers commonality with the US Navy, a highly-reliable system with security of lifecycle support, and access to future technology upgrades. We look forward to continuing to build these critical partnerships and delivering the MIFS system to our UK customer.”
Engineering and program support for the new contract will be performed at BAE Systems’ Minneapolis and Louisville, Kentucky production facilities. BAE shipped the main equipment for the first MIFS system at the end of 2022 with installation to follow in 2023.