BAE Systems bags US Navy contract for Mk 45 upgrades

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $50 million contract option to upgrade four additional Mk 45 naval guns on guided missile destroyers (DDG 51s), converting the guns to a fully-digital Mod 4 configuration.

The option, exercised under an initial 2015 award, brings the full value of the contract to $130 million for a total of 10 modernized gun systems.

Key updates to the Mod 4 configuration include a mechanically strengthened gun mount and a completely digitized control system. The stronger mount allows the gun to achieve 50 percent higher firing energy, and the new digital control system provides significantly more computing power while utilizing a user interface similar to that of a smartphone.

BAE Systems says these enhancements will enable the seamless integration of targeting and fire control data, such as GPS, positioning the Mk 45 to fire precision guided munitions at greater ranges.

“The proliferation of high-volume, low-cost threats is driving the need for multi-mission, cost-effective precision fire from naval guns like the Mk 45,” said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “As a leader in large-caliber naval guns and precision guided munitions, our team is committed to developing reliable and affordable technology that adapts faster and reaches farther than ever before.”

Work on the Mk 45 Mod 4 conversions will be performed at the BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with support from its facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Delivery of the first upgraded gun will take place in late 2017 with the last delivery scheduled for 2020.

The Mk 45 is a 5-inch fully-automatic naval gun. The company’s Louisville facility houses its Naval Guns Center of Excellence for manufacturing, providing component and spares fabrication, as well as final system assembly and testing of new and modernized gun systems.