The US Army has awarded a contract modification to Lockheed Martin for the seventh production lot of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary rockets.
The rockets developed under the new $353.2m contract extension will be delivered to the US Army and US Marine Corps, as well as to the Singapore, Jordan and Italian armies.
Lieutenant colonel TJ Wright, US Army precision-guided missiles and rockets product manager, said that the contract would provide a critical capability to troops, who rely on GMLRS to provide all-weather, 24/7 responsive fires when most required.
''GMLRS continues to be the long-range precision-fire weapon of choice when commanders need to decisively and accurately attack high value targets, while minimising the risk of collateral damage,'' Wright added.
Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control business precision fires vice president, said more than 2,200 GMLRS precision munitions have been fired by the US and allied forces in support of military operations.
"Our warfighters depend on GMLRS daily, and that intensifies our commitment to provide the most reliable, most effective weapon system possible," Arnold added.
Manufacturing work under the contract will be conducted at the company's facilities in Camden, Arkansas and Dallas, and deliveries are scheduled to start in December 2013.
Featuring a global positioning system (GPS) with inertial measurement unit guidance, the GMLRS is a 200lb all-weather, rapidly deployable, long-range rocket designed to accurately destroy targets, located at a distance of up to 70km.
Enclosed in a Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launch pod, the rocket can be fired from M270A1 MLRS and the M142 high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS).
Lockheed is currently producing GMLRS+, an upgraded version of the existing GMLRS, which has a range of 120km and is equipped with a 'scalable-effects' warhead.
Image: A US Army's M270 MLRS conducting a rocket launch. Photo: courtesy of Silje.