WASHINGTON – Shipboard weapons experts at the Raytheon Co. will upgrade and overhaul computer-controlled and radar-guided Gatling guns that defend surface warships from anti-ship missiles, manned aircraft, and drones under terms of a $109.6 million order announced Wednesday.
Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., for MK 15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) upgrades, conversions, overhauls and hardware.
CIWS is a fast-reaction radar-guided terminal shipboard defense against low- and high-flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats that have penetrated all other defenses. It's a high-volume Gatling gun, deployed since the early 1980s, designed to throw out a curtain of bullets that shred incoming missiles and aircraft.
At sea, the CIWS is designed to defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in threats that have pierced other lines of defense. It also has a land use as a counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar system that detects and destroys incoming rounds.
A self-contained package, the CIWS shipboard weapons automatically handle search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement, and kill assessment. The Block 1B version of the system adds control stations that enable operators to track and identify targets visually before engagement.
The 1B variant's configuration augments the CIWS anti-air warfare capability by adding a forward-looking infrared sensor for use against helicopters and high-speed surface craft at sea. The CIWS is installed on all U.S. Navy surface combatant ship classes and on those of 24 allied nations.
This deal is a modification to an August 2019 $199.6 million Navy contract To Raytheon for CIWS upgrades and overhauls. The original contract has options that could increase its value to $367.2 million.
On this contract Raytheon will do the work in Louisville, Ky.; Tucson, Tempe, and Phoenix, Ariz.; El Segundo, Camarillo, Valencia, Palo Alto, and Corona, Calif.; Melbourne, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Andover, Mass.; Ottobrunn, Germany; Williston, Vt.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Hauppauge and East Syracuse, N.Y.; Ashburn, Va.; Joplin, Mo.; Murray, Utah; Dallas; Huntsville, Ala.; and in Minneapolis, and should be finished by October. 2023.