Lockheed Martin's HIMARS Continues Successful EMD Test Firings at White Sands Missile Range
DALLAS, TX, August 21st, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin's High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) successfully completed two ripple-fire missions of six rockets each yesterday at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The firings are part of the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) requirements necessary for HIMARS to transition into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) in 2003. Preliminary data indicate that all test objectives were achieved. One six-rocket test was conducted at ambient temperature, while in the other six-round test the rockets were hot-conditioned.
HIMARS, a C-130 transportable vehicle that can launch the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) munitions, supports the U.S. Army's transformation goals by providing overwhelming firepower to light and early-entry forces.
The Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Lt. Gen. John S. Caldwell, attended the firings at the invitation of the Col. Craig Naudain, project manager, U.S. Army Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems Project Office. Additionally, Gen. Caldwell toured Lockheed Martin's Horizon City facility, where ATACMS is assembled, after the tests.
"HIMARS is going to be a powerful tool for our transformation forces," said Ron Abbott, vice president - Fire Support for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We have now demonstrated HIMARS' capability to fire MLRS and ATACMS munitions. These tests continue to prove the performance maturity of the system that will lead us into the Low-Rate Production phase of the program."
HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one ATACMS missile. Its fire control system, electronics and communications units are interchangeable with the MLRS M270A1 launcher, and the crew and training are the same. Because of its C-130 transportability, HIMARS can be deployed into areas previously inaccessible to larger launchers. It also sports the self-loading, autonomous features that have made MLRS the premier rocket artillery system in the world.
In addition to the standard and extended-range MLRS rounds, HIMARS is capable of launching the new Guided MLRS rocket, the next major step in the evolution of the MLRS Family of Munitions, offering advanced capabilities, reduced logistics support and precision attack.
The purpose of HIMARS is to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations. HIMARS is able to launch its weapons and move away from the area at high speed before enemy forces are able to locate the launch site.
Lockheed Martin developed and fabricated four operational HIMARS prototypes as part of the Army's Rapid Force Projection Initiative Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration contract, which was awarded to the company in March 1996. Three of the wheeled vehicles (a platoon) are undergoing user evaluation at the Army's XVIIIth Airborne Corps Artillery. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is maintaining the fourth vehicle for testing and evaluation. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.