Lockheed Martin Successfully Conducts Final Production Tests of Guided MLRS Rocket
DALLAS, TX, December 12th, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the final two Production Qualification Tests (PQTs) of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) rockets today at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Both series of three "ripple-fired" Guided MLRS rockets flew successfully, striking targets at a range of more than 15 kilometers. "These were the final tests for the Guided MLRS, and this transformational system has demonstrated exceptional maturity and effectiveness during testing," said Ron Abbott, vice president - Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "With the Guided MLRS, our forces will be able to deliver overwhelming amounts of indirect fire with maximum accuracy. Our customer, the U.S. Army, and our international partners are very happy with the exceptional results of these tests."
The GPS-aided, ripple-fired rockets were launched from an MLRS M270 Improved Position Determining System (IPDS) launcher. In both tests conducted December 12, the rockets flew more than 15 kilometers to the target area and dispensed their submunition payloads.
These PQT flights were the final step in the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the Guided MLRS Development. A Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract is expected on the Guided MLRS program in 2003. Guided MLRS initial operational capability is currently scheduled for 2005. The Guided MLRS rocket program is an international cooperative program between the U.S., U.K., Italy, France and Germany.
Guided MLRS rockets provide the Army with a capability to quickly attack critical point targets with pinpoint accuracy. Because of the precision guidance of the rocket, collateral damage around the impact point is minimal.
The Guided MLRS rocket is an Objective Force system that incorporates a GPS-aided inertial guidance package integrated on a product-improved rocket body. Small canards on the guided rocket nose will also provide basic maneuverability and enhance the accuracy of the system. In addition to the IPDS launcher, the Guided MLRS rocket can also be launched from the M270A1 launcher and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher.
Guided MLRS is the next major step in the evolution of the MLRS Family of Munitions, offering advanced capabilities, reduced logistics support and precision attack. The rocket will have a range of approximately 70+ kilometers. 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.