The VLA Missile is a rocket propelled, three stage, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) weapon designed for deployment on CG47, DDG51, and DD963 Class ships equipped with the MK41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) and MK 116 Mod 4A/6/7/8 Fire Control System (ASWCS subsystem of the AN/SQQ-89 (V)). The VLA Missile provides the fleet with the capability for rapid response, all weather delivery of a MK 46 MOD 5 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 Ticonderoga-class AEGIS cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS destroyers 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 MOD 5A(S) torpedo as its payload (RUM139A). In 1996 an upgrade was implemented to allow the enhanced shallow water capable MK 46 MOD 5A(SW) to be incorporated as the VLA Missile payload (RUM139B). This upgrade is being retrofitted into the entire VLA stockpile and is scheduled for completion in FY-01. VLA Missiles are delivered to the fleet as All-Up-Rounds (AURs) which consist of the VLA Missile installed inside of a MK15 MOD 0 VLS Canister.
VLA Missiles have two basic fleet configurations, Warshot and Exercise. VLA Warshot missiles contain a MK46 MOD 5A(S) (or MOD 5A(SW) Warshot Torpedo. VLA Exercise missiles contain an Exercise vice Warshot Torpedo, and are used for fleet exercise firings.
Quick reaction, all weather, intermediate range, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) weapon launched from surface ships.