MBDA and Lockheed Martin co-operation achieves first missile launch from a MK 41 launcher using ExLS


MBDA and Lockheed Martin demonstrated the first launch of a Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) launcher using the host variant of the Extensible Launching System (ExLS).

This is the first test by MBDA and Lockheed Martin since the May 2013 announcement of cooperation between the two companies to offer MBDA missile systems for use with the MK 41 and ExLS family of launchers.  The test used MBDA’s soft vertical launch technology to eject the CAMM from its canister and position the missile for main motor ignition.  The trial is the first in a series to demonstrate that the CAMM can be installed using ExLS in vessels that use the MK 41 launcher or on the 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher.

Announcing the result of the trial, Paul Mead, Business Development Director for MBDA said, “This first CAMM trial is an example of how MBDA and Lockheed Martin are offering the global MK 41 customer base a real choice in which missile they use.  The missile offers a wide range of benefits, not least its active seeker, as well as low impact of installation on-board due to the soft vertical launch method.  This is the start of what we hope will be a wider range of MBDA missile systems available to Lockheed Martin vertical launcher users.”

The multi-missile MK 41 VLS has fundamentally changed the way world navies think about sea-launched weapons by providing the flexibility to respond to numerous threats,” said George Barton, vice president of business development of Ship & Aviation Systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission System and Training business.  “Our partnership with MBDA allows us to grow the MK 41 multi-missile capability and offer our customers an outstanding VLS launcher alternative.”

Lockheed Martin, in collaboration with MBDA, is developing a 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher for those navies whose ships cannot accommodate the larger MK 41 VLS but desire the superior missile packing density, survivability and reliability that the 8-cell MK 41 launcher has been offering for over 30 years to 13 navies worldwide.

The trial was carried out on the 10th of September near Bedford, England, using a MK 41 launcher outfitted with a host ExLS.

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