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The Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) (VLA, Vertical Launch ASROC) is a quick reaction, all weather, intermediate range, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) weapon launched from United States Navy surface ships.

The VLA missile is a rocket-propelled, three-stage, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon designed for deployment on Ticonderoga-class cruisers[?], Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and Spruance-class destroyers[?] equipped with the MK41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) and MK 116 fire control system. The VLA missile provides the fleet with the capability for rapid response, all weather delivery of a MK 46 torpedo against threat submarines in any direction at intermediate ranges. VLA missiles were introduced into the fleet in 1993 as a baseline weapon for the cruisers and destroyers equipped with the Aegis combat system and as a replacement for the ASROC weapon on Spruance-class destroyers[?] when the original ASROC launchers were replaced by the MK 41 VLS.

VLA missiles were first introduced with the MK 46 torpedo as its payload (RUM139A). In 1996 an upgrade was implemented to allow the enhanced shallow-water capable MK 46 to be incorporated as the VLA missile payload (RUM139B). VLA missiles are delivered to the fleet as All-Up-Rounds (AURs) which consist of the VLA missile installed inside of a MK15 VLS canister. VLA missiles have two basic fleet configurations, Warshot and Exercise. VLA Warshot missiles contain a MK46 warshot torpedo. VLA Exercise missiles contain an exercise torpedo, and are used for fleet exercise firings.

General Characteristics

  • Primary Function: Surface Launched Missile, Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon.
  • Contractor: Lockheed Martin, Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems - Akron, Ohio (formerly Loral Defense Systems, formerly Goodyear Aerospace).
  • Unit cost: Approximately $350,000 (less torpedo payload).
  • Power plant: Solid propellant rocket motor.
  • Length:
    • Warshot: 16 feet, 0.6 inches (4.85 meters) /
    • Exercise: 16 feet, 8 inches (5.04 meters)
  • Weight:
    • Warshot: 1407 pounds (633.15 kg)
    • Exercise: 1377 pounds (619.65 kg)
  • Diameter: 16.6 inches (42.2 cm)
  • Wing Span: 26.87 inches (68.3 cm)
  • Range: ASW Intermediate range
  • Guidance system: Inertial Guidance
  • Warhead: MK 46 torpedo (98 lbs. of PBXN-103 high explosive)
  • Date Deployed: 1993 (RUM139A); 1996 (RUM139B)

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