Friday, August 11, 2006

Lockheed to accelerate GMLRS Unitary production

Buildup for a new offensive in the works? Hmmm.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control
The U.S. Army has asked Lockheed Martin to accelerate production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS Unitary) rockets.

“The GMLRS proved itself in combat in Tal Afar and provided the regiment with tremendous capability," said Col. H. R. McMaster, commander - 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Operation Restoring Rights’ senior U.S. officer. “It not only was able to hit enemy positions with a great deal of precision, but was able to limit collateral damage. The physical and psychological effect the system had on the enemy in Tal Afar - who was trying either to successfully defend against an attack or goad the Coalition into destroying large portions of the city - was extremely valuable.”

Lockheed Martin originally received a $108 million contract to conduct Low-Rate Initial Production-2 (LRIP-2) for GMLRS in April 2004. In January of 2005 Lockheed Martin completed delivery of GMLRS Unitary rockets to satisfy the first Army request to convert Guided MLRS rockets to Unitary warhead variants.

To respond to the Army's latest request for additional production, existing contracts will be modified to include delivery of GMLRS Unitary rockets scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2006. A second set of GMLRS Unitary are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2007.

“Lockheed Martin will deliver the GMLRS Unitary to the warfighter as requested,” said Rick Edwards, vice president - Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This request is indicative of the capability that this weapon system provides to deployed troops, and highlights its value to our nation's warfighters. We are committed to supporting our troops.”

GMLRS Unitary rockets have been fired in theater with overwhelming success. “When the GMLRS was used in Tal Afar, damage to surrounding buildings was almost nonexistent, and the target’s destruction was absolute,” said Lt. Col. A. J. Legg, commander - 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment. “[GMLRS Unitary is the] greatest distance-capable weapon.”

Guided MLRS Unitary integrates a 196-pound unitary warhead into the GMLRS rocket, giving battlefield commanders the ability to attack targets up to 70 kilometers away with high precision. This low-cost, low-risk program will greatly reduce collateral damage by providing enhanced accuracy to ensure delivery of the warhead to the target.

GMLRS is an all-weather, precision-guided rocket that provides increased accuracy thus reducing the number of rockets necessary to defeat current targets by 80 percent. The GMLRS rocket provides increased precision and maneuverability, and can be fired from the MLRS M270A1 and the HIMARS launchers...

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