BAE Systems was awarded a $219 million contract to provide five Mk45 Maritime Indirect Fire Systems (MIFS) for the U.K. Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates, the company said on Monday.

A BAE Mk 45 gun. (Photo: BAE Systems)
A BAE Mk 45 gun.
(Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE said the contract was awarded on February 10 and it shipped the main equipment for the first MIFS system at the end of 2022 while installation is set to follow this year.

The MIFS combines the 5-inch 62-caliber Mk 45 Mod 4A naval gun system and a fully automated Ammunition Handling System (AHS). 

The Type 25 frigates are set to start being delivered in the mid-2020s. Their main role will be conducting anti-submarine warfare as well as counter-piracy and humanitarian and disaster relief.

A company spokesperson told Defense Daily the contract covers one MIFS per frigate and the equipment will be delivered at a rate of about one system per year.

A BAE official argued their MIFS is a big change over other systems and provides commonality with U.S. Navy capabilities. The U.S. Navy uses the Mk 45 in the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

“We have innovated and customized the Mk 45 system to provide a critical and reliable fully-automatic ammunition handling solution that revolutionizes medium and large caliber naval gunnery,” Brent Butcher, vice president of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems, said in a statement.

Artist's concept of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. (Image: BAE Systems)
Artist’s concept of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
(Image: BAE Systems)

“The customized, lightweight and compact Mk 45 gun system with AHS provides our customers commonality with the U.S. Navy, a highly-reliable system with security of lifecycle support, and access to future technology upgrades. We look forward to continuing to build these critical partnerships and delivering the MIFS system to our U.K. customer.”

BAE also said the MIFS option will help increase crew productivity, reduce safety hazards and improve operational capability.

Engineering and program support for the new MIFS contract will be performed at BAE’s Minneapolis, Minn., and Louisville, Ky., production facilities.