LAUNCHER CONTROL UNITS (LCUs)
Each Mk 41 VLS contains two launcher control units (LCU 1 and LCU 2), Mk 211 Mod 0 or Mk 211 Mod 1 (figs. 7-42 and 7-43), depending on the class and the equipment installed. The LCUs interface with the ship's WCSs, manage VLS operations, and interface with VLS weapons for hazard monitoring and to select, prepare, and launch missiles. Each LCU is capable of controlling all missiles in either launcher. They maintain simultaneous communications with the WCSs and each other.
The status panel Mk 416 Mod 0 or Mk 430 Mod 0 monitors hazards and continuous power, controls launcher power, enables strikedown and anti-icing, and provides the launcher hazard status to the combat systems maintenance control or damage control center. The status panel maintains communication with the remote launcher enable panel (RLEP) in CIC for remote control of the magazine power and launch enable. The panel also includes a relay that is controlled by the safety observer's safety switch during strikedown operations.
Remote Launch Enable Panel (RLEP)
The RLEP, located in CIC, interfaces with the status panel to provide control of the remote magazine power and remote launch enable signals to the launcher. The Mk 428 Mod 0 RLEP is a double panel with one side for the forward launcher and an identical side for the aft launcher. The Mk 441 Mod 0 and 1 RLEP is a single panel for controlling one VLS launcher.
Figure 7-43.-Launcher Control Unit Mk 211 Mod 1.
Figure 7-44.-Vertical Launcher Mk 158 Mod 0.
VERTICAL LAUNCHERS and the Mk 159 Mod 0, which is a 29-cell launcher (figs. 7-44 and 7-45). The launchers are housed in watertight There are two types of launchers associated with the compartments that extend vertically from the second
VLS-the Mk 158 Mod 0, which is a 61-cell launcher, platform to the 01 level in all three ship classes.
Figure 7-45.-Vertical Launcher Mk 159 Mod 0.
The module is the primary structure component of the VLS launcher (fig. 7-46). It consists of the deck structure, the intermediate structure, and the base structure.
On the 8-cell module, the deck structure consists of eight cell hatches and an uptake hatch. The deck structure provides ballistic protection and supports the upper ends of the canisters. The deck structure is part of the gas management system that prevents rocket motor exhaust gases from escaping into the open launcher area. All hatches (with the exception of the strikedown hatch) contain heating elements to prevent icing. The cell hatches and uptake hatches are automatically opened by individual drive motors before missile launch. After a 10-second delay, to permit venting of the remaining missile exhaust gases in the launcher cells, the cell hatches automatically close.
The intermediate structure forms the midsection of the module and is also a part of the gas management system. It consists of five uptake sections bolted together and the outboard structures. The uptake sections form a fluelike structure for venting missile
exhaust gases. The outboard structures are bolted to the sides of the uptake sections that serve as canister guide rails for installation and removal of canisters.
The base structure serves as a base structure for the module and as a plenum for the gas management system. The intermediate structure mounts directly to the base structure for support of the module and canisters. The interior surface of the plenum and uptake are protected with ablative material to prevent the heat blast from overheating the VLS structure or ship structure.
The launcher sequencer, mounted to the module structure at cell 1, is the interface unit between the controlling LCU, other module equipment, and the missiles. The launcher sequencer monitors the status of the module and the cells within the module.