$50.8M for GMLRS Smart Rockets
Lockheed Martin in Grand Prairie, TX received a $50.8 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System. Work on this contract will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas (20%), and East Camden, Ark. (80%), and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 1, 2005 by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-05-C-0018).
The GMLRS will allow the potent M270a1 MLRS and smaller wheeled M142 HIMARS rocket artillery systems to get into the fight in urban areas and other locations where precision targeting is key, by incorporating GPS/INS guidance into MLRS rockets.
The system incorporates a GPS-aided inertial guidance package integrated on an improved 227mm rocket body. As you can see from the above cutaway diagram, small canards on the guided rocket nose provide basic maneuverability and enhance the accuracy of the system.
GMLRS is the result of a cooperative Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program with the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy to develop a new guided rocket for the Multiple Launch Rocket System. The rocket, known as the M30 GMLRS, has increased range (to 42 miles/ 70 km), accuracy (to 5m CEP) and lethality (unitary 196 lb. warhead option).
The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) actually consists of two variants of rockets fired from the MLRS or HIMARS launchers. The GMLRS Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) variant carries 404 bomblets, while the GMLRS Unitary rocket will have a single, 200-pound high-explosive (aka. “unitary”) warhead. Both variants use an inertial measurement unit guidance system that is aided by the Global Positioning System.
With the planned capabilities of the new rockets, the Army intends that a unit equipped with GMLRS will shoot farther (over 60 km versus 30 km) and achieve desired effects with fewer rockets (due to improved accuracy) and fewer duds (for GMLRS DPICM) or reduced collateral damage (for GMLRS Unitary) than the currently fielded MLRS rocket.
M30 GMLRS DPICM is employed against lightly armored, stationary targets such as towed artillery, air defense units, and communication sites.
M30 GMLRS Unitary will have three fuze settings for use against personnel in the open (proximity fuze); lightly fortified bunkers (delayed fuze); or a single, lightly armored target (point detonating fuze).
72 GMLRS rockets with unitary warheads were delivered to the U.S. Army on May 26/05, as part of an Urgent Need Statement from the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command (AMCOM), Redstone Arsenal, AL, in January 2005.