DALLAS, TX: Lockheed Martin successfully fired a U.S. Army Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rocket 92 kilometers in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The flawless test highlighted recent product improvements of this battle-proven system to give it a longer reach, maintaining its accuracy and effectiveness while minimizing potential collateral damage.
Firing crews for the launch were from the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery from Fort Lewis, WA. This test firing of a unitary GMLRS met all mission objectives, which included:
- Verify production of GMLRS and HIMARS production lines;
- Validating rocket and launcher reliability;
- Proving performance of system software; and
- Obtaining performance, technical and reliability data.
“Lockheed Martin is constantly improving its products to give our customers more value and enhanced capabilities,” said Scott Arnold, vice president for Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Operational feedback from deployed forces is providing us valuable insight so we can enhance our systems’ capabilities to better support the service members we rely on to defend our nations’ frontiers.”
GMLRS is a combat-proven evolutionary family of rockets that also scored numerous successes again in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, where more than 1,200 have been fired by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and British Army artillery in Afghanistan and Iraq. The GMLRS system, in combat, has maintained a reliability rating of over 98 percent.
GMLRS is the world’s premier long-range rocket artillery round designed specifically for destroying high-priority targets at ranges of 70 km and beyond. Successfully employed in both urban and non-urban environments, it is able to operate in all climate and light conditions while remaining beyond the range of most conventional weapons. Each GMLRS is packaged in a MLRS launch pod and is fired from the MLRS Family of Launchers.
The GMLRS rocket used in this test was fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher, the newest member of the MLRS launcher family. HIMARS can accommodate the entire family of MLRS munitions, including all variants of the Guided MLRS rocket and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles. Designed to enable troops to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations, HIMARS can launch its missiles and move away from the launch area before enemy forces locate the launch site.
HIMARS can be transported by C-130 “Hercules” aircraft, which allows HIMARS to be deployed into areas inaccessible to heavier launchers, and is a force multiplier to the units it supports. GMLRS is an international cooperative program among the United States, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Other international customers include the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.