GMLRS rocket

The US Army has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for Lot 9 production of the guided multiple launch rocket system (GMLRS) unitary rocket.

Under the terms of $255m contract, the company will supply an undisclosed number of GMLRS rockets for use by the US Army, Marine Corps and the Italian armed forces.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control tactical missiles vice president Ken Musculus said: "Guided MLRS is a weapon that is trusted and proven in combat, and we will continue to deliver a reliable product."

A major upgrade to the legacy M26 rocket, the GMLRS is a 200lb all-weather, rapidly deployable, long-range rocket capable of providing soldiers with enhanced manoeuvrability through accurate destruction of targets located at a distance of up to 70km on the battlefield.

Fired from the M270A1 MLRS and M142 HIMARS launchers, the system can engage moving ground targets with high explosive (HE) grenades designed for use against both personnel and vehicles, and also destroy surface-to-air missile sites, airfields or communication centres.

GMLRS is an international cooperative programme among the US, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, and is supported by other international customers, such as Japan, Jordan, Singapore and the UAE.

More than 25,000 GMLRS rockets have been manufactured to date by Lockheed at its facility in Camden, Arkansas, US.

Work under the contract will be performed at Lockheed’s facilities in Arkansas, and Dallas, Texas, US, while deliveries are scheduled to commence in April 2015.

Image: A guided multiple launch rocket system fires a 227mm rocket at a building near the northern Iraqi city of Bayji. Photo: courtesy of Rick Rzepka, US Army.

Defence Technology