REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Artillery fire support experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will upgrade U.S. Army Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) to the M270A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) field artillery version under terms of a $194.1 million contract announced late last month.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., are asking the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Grand Prairie, Texas, to convert MLRS units into GMLRS, which in addition to MLRS rockets, will fire Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) rockets, as well as the Army's future Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and Extended-Range GMLRS missiles, which are in development.
GMLRS is a heavy tracked mobile field artillery rocket launcher, transportable via C-17 and C-5 aircraft. The M270A2 is an upgraded variant of the Lockheed Martin M270 MLRS. The A2 version features the Common Fire Control System (CFCS), as well as new engine, transmission, launcher-loader modules, and improved armored cabs.
GMLRS smart munitions will have three variants: the Guided MLRS Unitary; Guided MLRS Alternative Warhead; and the Extended-Range Guided MLRS.
The unitary GMLRS munition has a unitary warhead to provide precision strike for point targets as far way as 44 miles. the GMLRS Alternative seeks to avoid the effects of unexploded ordnance, and has a 200-pound fragmenting warhead for targets as far away as 44 miles. The Extended-Range GMLRS round can hit targets as far away as 93 miles, using a large motor and tail-driven enhanced maneuverability.
The M270A2 is an upgraded variant of the Lockheed Martin M270 MLRS. The A2 version features the Common Fire Control System (CFCS), as well as new engine, transmission, launcher-loader modules, and improved armored cabs.
The CFCS will be common to the Army MLRS and to the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The CFCS will help enable the MLRS to fire the extended-range GMLRS munition, which has a range of nearly 94 miles, and is expected to see future upgrades in sensors, propulsion, and navigation.
The Army ordered the first 50 M270A2 upgrade kits through a $362 million contract in April 2019 with deliveries expected to complete by 2022. Last March the Army awarded a $224 million order to Lockheed Martin to upgrade existing M270A1 and decommissioned M270A0 MLRS artillery pieces to the new M270A2 configuration.
Army leaders say they plan to upgrade 225 existing M270A1 and 160 decommissioned M270A0 rocket launchers this decade, which should extend the life of the MLRS through at least 2050.
On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Camden, Ark.; Grand Prairie, and New Boston, Texas, and should finished by September 2027.
For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/business-areas/missiles-and-fire-control.html, or the Army Contracting Command-Redstone at https://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-rsa/.