Britain Buys $55M in Guided MLRS Rockets
Lockheed Martin has received a $55 million contract for its GPS/INS guided M30 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets from the United Kingdom. This contract represents the first international sale of GMLRS, which DID covered and explained in a June 28/05 article.
The initial UK contract calls for the production of GMLRS rockets with the Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) warhead, with an option to migrate to other GMLRS variants in the future.
The British contract was procured under a Foreign Military Sales agreement with the U.S. Army. The GBP 30.5 million order is the first element in a GBP 360 million incremental program which will see the UK take delivery of several thousand GMLRS rockets by the end of the decade. The first systems are due into service by 2007.
The GMLRS program successfully completed operational testing in December 2004. It is designed to be fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System family of vehicles: the tracked MLRS M270A1 and the smaller, wheeled M142 HIMARS. The 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery, XVIII Airborne Corps, just became the first U.S. Army certified HIMARS unit in June/05.
Lockheed Martin has received three contracts, totaling more than $290 million, to produce more than 2,000 GMLRS rockets in the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) program through the year 2006. GMLRS production is expected to extend well beyond the year 2020.