The US Army has awarded a contract to Alliant Techsystems (Atk) to develop an alternative warhead for the guided multiple-launch rocket system (GMLRS).

Under the $4m contract, ATK will develop a drop-in replacement for the currently fielded dual-purpose improved conventional munition warhead for the GMLRS.

The company will develop the alternative by conducting engineering trade studies, component and system optimisation, simulation and analysis, preliminary design, and warhead fabrication and testing.

ATK’s self-funded demonstration programme conducted in 2008 resulted in two GMLRS warhead configurations to demonstrate different technical designs.

ATK will spend 17 months on the project and will conclude the integration and demonstration phase with a live-fire test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The US Army will then down-select a design to enter the engineering and manufacturing design and demonstration phase.