BAE Contracted for Increased Naval Firepower

Aug. 7, 2019
The Mk 45 naval weapons system is receiving an upgrade in power and nautical range for 5-in. caliber shells.

BAE Systems has been contracted by the U.S. Navy for major upgrades to the Mk 45 weapons system as part of an enhancement to a Mod 4 system configuration. The contract, valued at $70.6 million, will add increased power to this widely used naval gun system. The fully automatic weapon, with its 5-in. (127-mm) caliber, is one of the world’s most compact and powerful naval weapons systems, with more than 260 systems in use globally by the U. S. and 10 other allied nations.

Mk 45 guns are deployed on the Navy’s fleet of guided-missile Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The Mod 4 configuration consists of a structurally strengthened gun mount that increases firing energy by 50%, enabling munitions to travel faster and farther. A new fully digitized control system provides significantly greater computing power and features a touchscreen user interface.

The Mk 45 naval weapons system, with its Mod 4 enhancement, will provide a range of more than 20 nautical miles (36 km) using 5-in. projectiles. (Courtesy: BAE Systems)

“The Mk 45 retains its reputation as the industry standard for large-caliber naval guns, and the Mod 4 makes it adaptable to advanced munitions,” said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “We are the world leader in developing and manufacturing maritime guns and producing reliable and affordable technology that meets the warfighter’s needs today and into the future.” The Mk 45 Mod 4 will provide a Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) range of more than 20 nautical miles (36 km) with the Navy’s 5-in. projectiles. Work on the Mk 45 Mod 4 upgrade will be performed at the BAE Systems facility in Lexington, KY and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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