Lockheed Martin's HIMARS Participates in Joint-Service Exercises
DALLAS, TX, 01-AUG-00 -- The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) performed exceptionally well in on-going joint training exercises between the artillery communities of Ft. Bragg, N.C., and Camp Lejeune, N.C. The U.S. Army's 18th Field Artillery (FA) Brigade (Airborne) conducted a flyaway deployment exercise involving HIMARS being airlifted to the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune from 26 July through 2 August. The purpose of the exercise was to test the readiness of the air/land package of a battery of cannons, platoon of HIMARS and one radar section.
HIMARS continues to prove itself in these field exercises that are indicative of tactical deployments, said Ron Abbott, vice president - Fire Support for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. I believe the Army is really beginning to see the utility of the lightweight HIMARS, and the system is a big hit with the soldiers.
As part of the exercise, the alert package of the 18th FA Brigade received an alert notification and began crisis action planning to deploy for contingency operations. Units began deployment on 26 July via C-141 aircraft from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., to the Marine Corps air station at Cherry Point, N.C. Other portions of the alert package executed road convoys into the area. Units conducted field operations in support of notional exercise scenarios and conducted live fire, air assault missions and live demonstrations of capabilities.
The exercise represented the first actual upload and deployment of HIMARS from the C-141. One HIMARS and one HMMWV were uploaded on each C-141, said LTC Max Carroll, U.S. Army product manager - HIMARS. Two C-141 sorties were used for HIMARS, with the third HIMARS going via ground convoy.
The HIMARS platoon of the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment conducted a successful live-fire demonstration for senior leaders of the II Marine Expeditionary Force during the exercise.
HIMARS, the newest member of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family, is a highly mobile artillery rocket system that will be able to fire the complete MLRS family of munitions. Its fire control system, electronics and communications units are interchangeable with the standard MLRS launcher, and the crew and training are the same. Because of its size, HIMARS can be deployed into areas previously inaccessible to the larger aircraft required to transport the standard MLRS launcher. It also retains the self-loading, autonomous features that have made MLRS the premier rocket artillery system in the world.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control - Dallas developed and fabricated four operational HIMARS prototypes as part the Army's Rapid Force Projection Initiative Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration contract awarded to the company in March of 1996. Three of the wheeled vehicles (a platoon) were delivered to the Army's 18th Airborne Corps Artillery for a two-year extended user evaluation. The fourth vehicle is being maintained by Missiles and Fire Control - Dallas for testing/evaluation.
Located in Dallas and Orlando, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and supports advanced combat, missile, rocket and space systems. The company is organized in seven program/mission areas: Strike Weapons, Air Defense, Anti-Armor, Naval Munitions, Fire Control and Sensors, Fire Support and Product Development.