Raytheon Missiles to upgrade MK15 Phalanx CIWS Close-In Weapon Systems for US and South Korea

According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense on June 23, 2021, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $136,470,802 firm-fixed-price contract for MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) upgrades and conversions, system overhauls, and associated hardware for the United States and South Korea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Phalanx Close-In Weapon System CIWS is designed to automatically detect, evaluates, engages and performs kill assessment against anti-ship missiles and high-speed aircraft threats. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

This contract combines purchases for the Navy (85%); and the government of South Korea (15%), under the foreign military sales (FMS) program.

The MK-15 also called Phalanx is a Close-In Weapon System is a fast-reaction, rapid-fire 20-millimeter gun system that provides US Navy ships with a terminal defense against anti-ship missiles that have penetrated other fleet defenses.

Designed and built by the Raytheon Corporation, the PHALANX Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) is a fast reaction, rapid-fire, computer-controlled system comprised of a combination radar and 20mm Gatling gun that is designed to engage Anti-Ship Missiles (ASM). It provides organic search, detection, threat evaluation, target acquisition, tracking, firing, target destruction evaluation, automatic kill assessment, and cease-fire data to control train, elevation and discharge of the weapon. Independent of other ship’s systems, PHALANX will automatically engage ASM that penetrates the ship’s primary outer defense systems.

The Block 1B version adds control stations that allow operators to visually track and identify targets before engagement. With an added forward-looking infrared sensor, the 1B variant can be used at sea against helicopters and high-speed surface craft and on land to help identify and confirm incoming threats.

The Phalanx weapon system is installed on all U.S. Navy surface combatant ship classes and on those of 24 allied nations. The land-based version is forward deployed and has been used in combat.