Some Crazy Missile Launchers are Being Built in Baltimore County

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090825-N-1522S-020 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 25, 2009) A Tactical Tomahawk Cruise Missile launches from the forward missile deck aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) during a training exercise. This training exercise is part of a U.S. 2nd Fleet initiative to prepare ships to operate independently for non-traditional warfare missions such as counter-piracy and visit, board, search, and seizure. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles/Released)

Unless it’s something that’s tough to hide like a blimp, we don’t always know what the many federal defense contractors in the area are doing. This week, Lockheed Martin offered a reminder that there is some serious artillery involved.

The company put out a release touting a new production line that has “80 new tools to optimize production flow,” and said the updates will keep 150 people employed. What stood out most, however, was what they’re making.

The Middle River facility is where the contractor assembles giant missile launchers for U.S. warships. Lockheed says its MK 41 VLS is the “only launching system capable launching anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike missiles.” The missile launchers have also been supplied for 12 U.S. allies. Defense types like to call them the Navy’s “Swiss Army Knife.”

So the next time you get asked where Tomahawk missiles come from, you can say it’s from a launcher that gets built in Baltimore.

 



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