Raytheon to upgrade MK 15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) radar-guided air-defense guns for surface warships

March 25, 2022
CIWS is a radar-guided terminal shipboard defense against fast low- and high-flying anti-ship missiles that have penetrated all other fleet defenses.

WASHINGTON – Shipboard weapons experts at Raytheon Technologies Corp. 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 $93.6 million order announced Wednesday.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Raytheon Missiles & Defense segment in Tucson, Ariz., for MK 15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) upgrade, conversion, overhaul and hardware.

CIWS is a fast-reaction radar-guided terminal shipboard air 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.

Related: Navy beefing-up air-defense capabilities of U.S., Japan, and South Korea surface warships

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.

On this contract Raytheon will do the work in Louisville, Ky.; El Segundo, Palo Alto, Van Nuys, Anaheim, Valencia, and Irvine, Calif.; Pittsburgh; Williston, Vt.; Tucson and Tempe, Ariz.; Hauppauge and East Syracuse, N.Y.; Andover, Mass.; Melbourne, Fla.; Radford, Va.; Joplin, Mo.; and other U.S. locations, and should be finished by September 2026.

For more information contact Raytheon Missiles & Defense online at www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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