Lockheed Martin, DALLAS: Lockheed Martin recently conducted the fifth successful flight test of a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary rocket at White Sands Missile Range, NM.
Test objectives included demonstrating the GMLRS Unitary rocket's warhead Proximity Sensor, which gives the rocket the capability to detonate at a predetermined distance above ground for improved effectiveness against soft targets. Other test objectives were to collect temperature, shock and vibration data; verify rocket performance and evaluate warhead effectiveness.
The rocket, launched from an unmanned MLRS M270A1 launcher, was tested at ambient temperature with a range of less than 20 kilometers. All test objectives were achieved.
“This flight test demonstrated the ability of the Guided MLRS Unitary rocket to detonate the munition at a set height above ground level to deliver a blast and fragments onto soft targets,” said Al Duchesne, director — MLRS Rocket Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This is a capability our warfighters have needed for some time.”
The GMLRS Unitary tri-mode fuze provides the warfighter with three distinct detonation options: Point Detonate, which detonates the warhead on impact with the target providing minimal collateral damage; Delay Mode, which detonates after impact with the target providing a penetration capability; and the Proximity Sensor, which detonates at a predetermined height above the target allowing a greater target area to be covered.
“The testing of the final mode of the three-mode fuze brings us closer to delivering this vital capability to the warfighters, which will enable them to more effectively achieve their missions,” Duchesne added. “Guided MLRS Unitary is a munition I'm confident will prove valuable in a variety of missions.”
Guided MLRS Unitary integrates a 180-pound unitary warhead into the GMLRS rocket, giving battlefield commanders the ability to attack targets up to 70 kilometers away with high precision. This low-cost, low-risk program will greatly reduce collateral damage by providing enhanced accuracy to ensure delivery of the warhead to the target.
Lockheed Martin received a $119 million contract to conduct a System Development and Demonstration (SDD) for a GMLRS variant with a single warhead in October 2003.
The SDD phase of this program was preceded by a successful system demonstration in 2002 of a Quick Reaction Unitary Rocket and a nine-month Component Advanced Development program. The Guided Unitary SDD program will continue through 2007.
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.