Lockheed Martin lands MK 41 VLS contract for German Navy’s F126 frigates

Damen Naval has contracted US-based defense company Lockheed Martin for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System in support of the German Navy’s F126 frigate program.

As disclosed, the company’s scope of supply and services includes the production and delivery of two 8-cell strike length MK 41 VLS Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 2 capable modules for each of four ships plus associated engineering efforts and ancillary hardware.

Furthermore, the award concerns the MK41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) Direct Commercial Sale contract, which was signed in January 2021. 

“This contract is the next logic step for the game-changing project F126. Moreover, it is an excellent example for realizing financial, technical and operative benefits through bi-national cooperation in Europe. Using Lokheed Martin’s MK 41-system on board of the new German frigates carries on a long and successful history of German and Royal Netherlands Navies operating this system for years,” Hein van Ameijden, Managing Director of Damen Naval, said.

The system was designed with the ability to fire anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, strike, and anti-submarine warfare missiles simultaneously.  It’s “Any Weapon/Any Cell” design allows a MK41 cell to fire any integrated missile providing maximum flexibility, according to the firm.

Both the German and Royal Netherlands Navy operate this system. Damen is familiar with the MK 41 VLS system operating on the Netherlands Air Defence and Command Frigate (ADCF) project and various other projects in the export domain.

Moreover, the system has a history with the German Navy, including projects such as the F123 Brandenburg-class and F124 Sachsen-class frigates.

Damen Naval is building the four F126 class frigates together with its partners Blohm+Voss and Thales. The first ship is expected to be delivered to the German Navy in 2028. All building work will be carried out entirely in Germany at shipyards in Kiel, Hamburg and Wolgast.

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