Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Lockheed Martin’s extended-range rocket aces long-range flight test

Lockheed Martin successfully demonstrated its next-generation Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) in a flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The U.S. Army’s HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) launcher was used once more to fire the rocket.

Lockheed Martin claimed that the Extended-Range GMLRS met all success criteria in the first 150-kilometer (93 miles) test for flight trajectory, extended range, and accuracy from launch to impact. It also evaluated the system’s ability to integrate with its HIMARS launcher counterpart and achieved overall missile performance.

Based on the original GMLRS that has been made famous by its game-changing employment in Ukraine, the new ER GMLRS is designed to nearly double the range of the current munition while maintaining proven precision.

“This test demonstrates nearly double the range while maintaining the precision GMLRS is known for,” said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, in the press release. “Lockheed Martin is committed to advancing this critical capability on a rapid timeline for our Army customer, and this test moves ER GMLRS one step closer to fielding.”

Prior to launch, the rocket pod underwent Stockpile to Target Sequence (STS) testing, which is described as an effort to simulate the cumulative effects ER GMLRS will meet in the field between the factory and launch for the life of the system. STS testing is intended to help the manufacturer better understand the durability of the missile and launch pod container.

Lockheed Martin has produced more than 60,000 GMLRS rounds and is under annual contract to continue production of GMLRS unitary and alternative-warhead rockets, including integrated logistics support for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and international customers. The systems are produced at the company’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.