ATK to develop alternative warhead for US Army GMLRS

The US Army has selected Alliant Tech Systems (ATK) to develop an alternative warhead for its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), an all-weather, precision-strike artillery rocket system.

The selection follows live-fire testing, during which the warhead met performance and mission requirements and also demonstrated its ability to lower technical risk as well as compatibility with current weapon flight characteristics without modifications to the existing GMLRS delivery system.

Under the engineering and manufacturing design and demonstration (EMDD) phase of the programme, the company will also refine the GMLRS design to ensure a low risk transition to low rate initial production (LRIP).

The warhead features ATK's Lethality Enhanced Ordnance (LEO) design, which improves user safety by lessening the risk of chain-reaction explosions, in case the warhead is struck by bullets or fragments, or encounters other hazardous events.

The currently fielded dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) warhead will be replaced by the GMLRS alternative warhead that also eliminates the use of sub-munitions on the battlefield.

The GMLRS is a battlefield short-range, road mobile, solid propellant artillery rocket, which provides the warfighter with increased manoeuvrability, and can be fired from the MLRS M270 and M270A1 launchers as well as the high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) launcher.

Capable of engaging moving ground targets with high explosive (HE) grenades, the system is designed for use against both personnel and vehicles, or support facilities with a single unitary warhead.

Manufacturing work under the contract will be conducted at the company's US Navy-owned Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) facility in Rocket Center in West Virginia with engineering and programme support from its facility in Plymouth, Minnesota, US.

ATK is the subcontractor to prime contractor Lockheed Martin on the GMLRS programme.