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F-117 Attacking Carrier AH

Warwolf 1 targeting VLS on NRF carrier Admiral Aristov

The Vertical Launch System (abbreviated as VLS) is a naval anti-air weapon designed to provide anti-air defense for large warship formations. Being a navalized version of Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile , it features various improvements over the Surface-to-Air Missile, such as increased range, accuracy, and damage.


Coming from its name, a standard VLS is a launcher for SAM. It is typically installed on large warships, such as battle cruisers or Aegis. Aside increased range and accuracy, it has a noticable different mechanics. When any enemy aircraft is in range, the missile will be launched vertically into the sky. After reaching certain altitude, it turns toward its target and engages it. It makes the missile less vulnerable to close obstacles and allows to fire any direction.


Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation is the first game where VLS appeared. Both Emmeria and Estovakia operated vessels equipped with those weapon. Commonly, a battle cruiser is equipped with one launcher, and Aegis armed with two of these.

In Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Erusean Navy, along with Aegis ships, also utilized a number of missile cruisers equipped with double VLS launchers.