DALLAS --- The Department of Defense has officially advanced Lockheed Martin's Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) - Unitary into low-rate production. Additionally, the U.S. Army awarded the company a $125 million contract for production of GMLRS rockets.
"Throughout the process to achieve these milestones, the highest levels in the Department of the Army, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff have recognized the outstanding success of the GMLRS program," said Lt. Col. Mark Pincoski, U.S. Army Product Manager, Precision Guided Missiles and Rockets. "I wish to express my gratitude to the entire GMLRS team, without whose hard work and expertise, these milestones may have never been achieved. The efforts of the team are particularly significant due to the urgent need for the GMLRS Unitary Rocket in combating our nation's foes, and the tremendous success it has demonstrated in combat."
"GMLRS continues to demonstrate the highest levels of reliability and effectiveness in support of our Soldiers," said Al Duchesne, director of Precision Guided Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The rapid pace of this program's development echoes our rapid success in this back-to-back set of program advances. The many positive comments we have received from Soldiers about GMLRS' battle-proven surgical strike capability inspires our team to maintain its high level of performance in support of the Warfighter."
GMLRS is an all-weather, precision-guided rocket that provides increased accuracy, thus reducing the number of rockets necessary to defeat current targets by 80 percent. The GMLRS rocket provides increased precision and maneuverability, and can be fired from the MLRS M270A1 and the HIMARS launchers.
Guided MLRS Unitary integrates a 200-pound class 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.
"We are very pleased that the Guided MLRS Unitary system is performing so well in Iraq," continued Pincoski. "The GMLRS system represents the state of the art in U.S. Field Artillery precision strike capability, and everyone on the GMLRS government and contractor team has worked very hard to put this system into the hands of our Soldiers. The world's best Soldiers deserve the world's best weapons and equipment, and GMLRS Unitary is the best Field Artillery weapon system we have ever fielded. We remain focused on the needs of our Soldiers and are committed to providing them the best in rocket and missile fire support systems."
Guided Unitary MLRS is the newest variant which leverages the Guided MLRS experience and investment to integrate a unitary warhead with a multi-mode fuze to expand the MLRS target set to include point targets within urban and complex environments. In January 2005, the U.S. Army issued an Urgent Need Statement for acceleration of Guided Unitary deliveries in support of counter fire operations. Lockheed Martin delivered the first 72 GMLRS Unitary rockets in June 2005, satisfying the requirements of the Urgent Need Statement. A total of 486 GMLRS Unitary rockets have been delivered to satisfy this requirement.
Improvements to the current fielded system contained in the just completed Phase II variant included software upgrades, new trajectory shaping modes and tri-mode fuze capability. The multiple fuze modes include an airburst mode, which detonates above the target point, a point detonate mode which impacts at the target point and a delay mode which impacts below the target point. The diversification of fuze mode options allows the system to be effective against multiple targets while maintaining low collateral damage.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin 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.