US Navy awards $287.9M close-in weapon system contract

Following contracts for MK-31 RAM missiles and SM-3 missiles earlier this week, the U.S. Navy has now awarded American defense company Raytheon a $287.9 million contract for work on the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).

Under the latest firm-fixed-price modification, Raytheon will carry out MK 15 CIWS upgrades and conversions, and system overhauls.

CIWS is a fast-reaction terminal defense against low- and high-flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats that have penetrated all other defenses. The CIWS is an integral element of the fleet defense in-depth concept and the ship self-defense program.

Operating either autonomously or integrated with a combat system, it is an automatic terminal defense weapon system designed to detect, track, engage, and destroy anti-ship missile threats penetrating outer defense envelopes. CIWS consists of 2 variants: Phalanx, which utilizes a six-barrel Gatlin gun; and SeaRAM, which replaces the gun with an 11-round Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) guide.

Phalanx production started in 1978 with the Block 0 configuration, and was first installed in 1980 on the USS Coral Sea. The Block 1 configuration was installed on USS Wisconsin in 1988. The first Block 1B installation was aboard the USS Underwood in 1999. The Phalanx program has had an active and continuous production, upgrade and overhaul program since 1978.

Phalanx CIWS is currently installed on Navy and Coast Guard ships, and is also in use in foreign navies. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and for the governments of Turkey and Australia, under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

Work is expected to be completed by December 2022. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2014 weapons procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $64,627,857 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.