BAE Systems has received a US$129 million contract to equip the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates with five Mk 45 Maritime Indirect Fire Systems (MIFS). The system combines the five-inch, 62-calibre Mk 45 Mod 4A naval gun system with a fully automated Ammunition Handling System (AHS).
“We have innovated and customised 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, Inc. “The customised, 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.”
The Type 26 frigates, the first of which is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s, will be an advanced class of warship, with the primary purpose of anti-submarine warfare. In addition to its range of advanced weapons and sensors, it will be capable of countering privacy, delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
As part of the ships’ capabilities, the innovative, automated naval gun solution will help the Royal Navy increase crew productivity, reduce sailor safety hazards and improve operational capability of these advanced warships as they deliver protection to the Royal Navy’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group.
Engineering and program support for the new contract will be performed at the BAE Systems’ Kentucky production facilities, based in Minneapolis and Louisville. The company shipped the main equipment for the first MIFS system at the end of 2022.