Lockheed Martin Delivers First HIMARS Launcher to U.S. Marine Corps
DALLAS, TX, July 25th, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first of two High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers to the U.S. Marine Corps. The second launcher is slated for delivery in August. The HIMARS program entered the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase in December 1999. During EMD, six HIMARS launchers will be built for the U.S. Army, and two for the U.S. Marine Corps. These launchers will be used for engineering and development testing.
"The Marines will begin intensive training on HIMARS now that they have their first launcher," said Ron Abbott, vice president - Fire Support for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "On the completion of individual and collective training, the Marines will qualify a platoon and battery, then proceed into Operational Testing. This is an exciting time for the HIMARS program. It's gratifying to see this powerful rocket and missile artillery system finally in the hands of the U.S. Marine Corps."
In addition to HIMARS training and exercises at Fort Sill, Okla., the Marines are also expected to deploy to White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the National Training Center, Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif., and other locations for firings and testing.
In late June 2002, Lockheed Martin announced the signing of a Contractor Logistic Support (CLS) contract to provide HIMARS launcher field support during Training and Operational Assessment. The CLS contract calls for Lockheed Martin to provide spares, supply and maintenance services in support of the Marine Corps' HIMARS launchers. During the Operating Forces evaluation period, the Marine Corps anticipates CLS success and lessons-learned will aid in refining the Marine Corps' HIMARS maintenance concept. Support of an additional two launchers is expected to be provided beginning in the fourth quarter FY'04.
HIMARS is a C-130 transportable, wheeled, indirect fire, rocket/missile system capable of firing all rockets and missiles in the current and future MLRS Family of Munitions. HIMARS will provide 24-hour, all-weather, ground-based responsive indirect fires to the current and transformation force. The system is designed to provide high-volumes, as well as precision lethal fires in support of maneuver forces. The system will extend the range of support provided to the warfighter.
The HIMARS 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 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 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.