The Mk-26 Guided Missile Launcher is a fully automated system that stows, handles, and launches a mixed load of weapons. The system is engineered to accept any combination of STANDARD Missile 1-MR, STANDARD Missile 2-MR anti-aircraft, ASROC anti-submarine missiles as well as Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Even with this mixed-weapon capability, the Mk-26 has the shortest reaction time and the fastest firing rate of any shipboard launching system. With only one man at the control console, a weapon can be selected, hoisted to the guide arm, and launched (when ordered by Weapons Control). Three mods (0, 1, and 2) provide magazine capabilities of 24, 44, and 64 missiles respectively. Similar to the Mk-41 Vertical Launching System, one of the cells in the magazine is used as "strike-down hatch" to accommodate a crane necessary to reload the magazine at sea. The maximum length of missiles to be stored in the magazine is 12.1 feet (3.7 meters) which means that STANDARD ER Missiles can not be launched from the Mk-26 Launcher.
The Mk-26 Guided Missile Launcher is/was installed aboard the following ships:
Mk-26 Image Gallery: