Lockheed Martin's MLRS M270A1 Launcher Enters Operational Testing
DALLAS, TX, 02-OCT-01 --
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's improved Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270A1 launcher has entered Operational Testing (OT) at Fort Sill, Okla. The OT will be conducted in two phases. Phase I, which is underway at Fort Sill, will evaluate system capabilities and unit and personnel interface with the M270A1 system. Live firings of MLRS Reduced-Range Practice Rockets (RRPRs) will be conducted during this time. Phase II began in September 2001, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and consists of numerous live firings of MLRS rockets and Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS) missiles.
Ron Abbott, vice president - Fire Support programs for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said, This is the final step in getting the M270A1 system approved for use by our troops. The system will provide the Army with a vastly updated launcher that can fire enhanced munitions, such as the Guided MLRS rocket and the anti-armor Army TACMS Block II missile.
Al Duchesne, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's M270A1 program director, said, The M270A1 launcher has already demonstrated excellent performance prior to the OT phase of the program, and we're fully confident that we'll continue that standard of excellence during this extensive testing period.
The M270A1 program is a major upgrade to the MLRS launcher. It includes an Improved Fire Control System (IFCS) that features a Global Positioning System (GPS), as well as the ability to process large blocks of data from new smart munitions within tactical timelines. Operating and maintenance costs will be reduced because of greater reliability and ease of repair on IFCS parts.
The system also incorporates the Improved Launcher Mechanical System (ILMS) upgrade, which dramatically reduces the time needed to aim and reload the launcher. In a typical fire mission, the ILMS-equipped launcher is six times faster than the current M270 launcher. Reload time is decreased by more than 30 percent. Crew and launcher survivability will be greatly enhanced because total exposure time on the battlefield will be significantly reduced.
Located in Dallas, Tex.; Orlando, Fla.; and Sunnyvale, Calif., 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.