Tag Archives: HIMARS

Qualification Flight Test

Lockheed Martin successfully demonstrated its next-generation Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) in a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The round was fired Thursday morning from the U.S. Army’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and met all success criteria in a short-range test flight approximately 59 kilometers/36.6 miles to the target area.

ER GMLRS
Lockheed Martin’s Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) Will Nearly Double The Range Of The Current Munition While Maintaining Proven Precision

«Our next-generation GMLRS provides versatility for commanders, offering a choice of munitions at longer distances with the same reliability and precision the system is known for», said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «This success advances the ER GMLRS closer to production as we complete the final phase of the development program».

Testing confirmed flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to impact, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS integration and overall missile performance.

The rocket pod also underwent Stockpile to Target Sequence (STS) testing prior to launch. This effort simulates cumulative effects the ER GMLRS will meet in the field between factory and launch for the life of the system and demonstrates durability of the missile and launch pod container.

Lockheed Martin has produced more than 60,000 GMLRS rounds and is under contract to produce more than 9,000 new GMLRS unitary and alternative-warhead rockets including integrated logistics support for the U.S. Army and international customers. The systems are produced at the company’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.

For more than 40 years, Lockheed Martin has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions, providing highly reliable, combat-proven systems like Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), HIMARS, Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and GMLRS to domestic and international customers.

Autonomous Launcher

It’s a concept that would thicken the force and increase mass fires – and it’s one step closer to reality for the Warfighter.

Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML)
Soldier touchpoints guide successful autonomous launcher demo

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (DEVCOM AvMC) successfully demonstrated proof of concept for an Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML) in a multi-round live fire demonstration at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The demonstration was conducted on behalf of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team (LRPF CFT), in partnership with the DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and the 18th Field Artillery Brigade.

A total of seven rockets were fired, showcasing AML’s lethality potential in Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) multi-domain operations, particularly in the Indo-Pacific theater, the focus of the demonstration’s simulation.

«Our whole job was to prove that it is possible to control and drive this size vehicle remotely, bring it down to a heading that is desired, and remotely fire it», said Lucas Hunter, AML project manager for DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center. «The AML Surrogate responded to commands as expected. This allowed our team to confirm that it is possible to control all actions necessary to emplace and attack a target from a remote location. We have also learned a great deal about design considerations from an operational perspective that will be incorporated into a future AML design».

To demonstrate the concept via a surrogate AML system, the test team applied remote driving and firing kits to a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, allowing for the surrogate to demonstrate semi-autonomous launcher driving and launcher control capability. All operations of the technology demonstration were conducted by field artillery Soldiers from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with subject matter experts from DEVCOM AvMC and DEVCOM GVSC collecting feedback to guide future design demonstrations.

«This is an important first step to see what this looks like», said AvMC Director Jeffrey Langhout. «Twenty years ago we would have probably never done it this way, but because of who we are today, the very first time we put this together, we had real Soldiers doing the operating. Everything was done by Soldiers. All the engineers and all the great technologists were sitting out there and watching and cheering them on, but they were doing all of the work. It was great to be a part of».

The AML concept brings together two key elements of the Army Modernization Strategy – robotics and autonomy. The autonomous, unmanned, highly mobile, C-130 Super Hercules transportable launcher would increase lethality, with additional launcher platforms, and add three times the firepower and magazine depth, while minimally increasing force structure.

«This gives the Warfighter an agile, deployable, mid-range capability that will be survivable in an archipelagic operational environment, island hopping type of campaign, to engage a variety of A2/AD targets», said LRPF CFT Director Brigadier General John Rafferty.

While the demonstration identified physical and cybersecurity challenges for the unmanned launchers and evaluated communication needs for manned-teaming, the bread and butter of the nearly three-week event was the opportunity for DEVCOM engineers to work side by side with the Warfighter. Engineers gathered valuable feedback, whether it was the mechanic ensuring the oil had been checked on the vehicle or capabilities the Soldiers would like to see in future iterations.

«Any time you can get Soldiers, operators and engineers together – it’s impossible to overstate how important Soldier touchpoints are», Rafferty said. «This gets right at one of the fundamental tenets of Army Futures Command, which is Soldier-informed development».

From the ground up, the AML concept will be designed with the Warfighter in mind.

«Every individual has a different view, so the more input we have, the better this will be», said Lauren Ruta, a member of the AvMC AML test team. «It’s good for both sides, because as engineers, we design this but we’re not the users. There’s a huge disconnect between us designing and the actual users, because we don’t always know exactly what they need. Seeing what will really help them helps us make the design better. It’s good for the Soldier because they oftentimes just get equipment, but they don’t always get to see the work that went into designing it».

For members of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade, having their voices heard and offering insight into a concept that may one day make it into theater was an exciting prospect.

«Our job here is to figure out what’s the difference between AML and what we always do, so we can give good, constructive feedback on what we do in the field every day versus what they have so far», said 1st Lieutenant Janeen Smith with the 18th Field Artillery Brigade. «My crew is super excited. Later in life we can explain to everyone, ‘This is what I was a part of. I was part of the making of that.’»

The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.

The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML) is an Army Futures Command Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, and Ground Vehicle Systems Center, Science and Technology initiative to develop and demonstrate an autonomous, unmanned, highly mobile, C-130 transportable launcher. The prototype launcher will be capable of leader-follower autonomy, autonomous way point navigation, drive-by-wire, and remote launcher turret and fire control operation. It will be capable of launching longer munitions while remaining compatible with the current munitions. This video is a SIMULATION of how this technology could be used by the future force, this is not a real event

Long Range Precision Fires

As the U.S. Army’s number one modernization priority, Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) has a heavy (pay)load to carry.

Precision Strike Missile (PrSM)
An M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launches a Precision Strike Missile on December 10, 2019, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. HIMARS is one of the Army’s front-running munitions that addresses Long Range Precision Fires (Photo by White Sands Missile Range, Kinsey Lindstrom)

But the program, of which the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC) plays a critical role, has proven to stand up to the scrutiny. The Precision Strike Missile, part of the LRPF portfolio, is an integral reason why.

« Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) is an exciting capability improvement for the Army that will provide dramatic improvements in targeting, lethality and range while using existing launchers», said Christi Dolbeer, director of the Technology Development Directorate at DEVCOM AvMC.

What makes PrSM so revolutionary? Both an ambitious approach to increasing capabilities but also a pragmatic one. Those launchers are already built, already in the field and already utilized by Soldiers who will not need extensive additional training on the weapons system’s operation. That design was intentional given the Army’s «do more with less» climate and an expected program price tag of more than $1.2 billion over five years.

«PrSM fits in the existing High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers», said Mike Turner, Fires Capability Area Lead for DEVCOM AvMC. «It is part of the command-and-control structure. It will be organic to all Army fires units. So, we have hundreds of launchers already capable of firing this and the targeting dilemma we create for potential adversaries is significant. Especially when we talk about increment four, where we can shoot 1000 kilometers/621.4 miles and that can come from any field artillery rocket and missile unit».

The first increment of PrSM brings with it the capabilities of an increased 500-kilometer/310.7-mile range and double the missile capacity per launcher compared to the aging Army Tactical Missile System. It is currently in an engineering and manufacturing development phase overseen by the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles Project Office and is scheduled to be delivered to Soldiers in 2023.

Engineers at DEVCOM AvMC are currently working with prime contractor Lockheed Martin on increment two, which will integrate a multimode seeker to hit both poorly located unmoving targets and moving targets. This capability will expand the PrSM target set to include maritime targets under the Land-Based Anti-Ship Missile science and technology program.

Still in its early stages, increment three focuses on an enhanced lethality: adding smart submunitions – a small munition that separates from the missile prior to impact – and multiple target capabilities. Increment three will also present an opportunity for industry competition.

In a testament to Army adaptability, the increment intended to be fourth has been prioritized ahead of three and will extend PrSM’s range to 1000 kilometers/621.4 miles, doubling the range of increment capabilities. The reordering, directed by Army Futures Command and the Army, was due to «a need for a longer range in certain theaters», Turner said.

Doubling the range of the precursor missile with increment one –then doubling it again with increment four – is ambitious. Turner credits the leadership of the Long Range Precision Fire Cross-Functional Team in fostering collaboration within the Army enterprise, a collaboration that has opened avenues of ingenuity for a program conceptualized by the DEVCOM AvMC team in 2011. As increment one is soon to be delivered under urgent materiel release, Turner and his team’s belief in the future of the program remains unwavering.

«We are confident we can do it», he said.

The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.

HIMARS Launchers

The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $183 million contract to produce High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and associated hardware.

Lockheed Martin awarded $183 million contract for HIMARS Launchers

Lockheed Martin will produce and build 28 HIMARS at its Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas. The contract calls for launcher and associated equipment delivery starting in late 2022 for the U.S. Marine Corps and international customer.

«The Army’s commitment to the HIMARS launcher through 2050 reflects our customers’ confidence in Lockheed Martin’s highly reliable, combat-proven precision strike systems and munitions», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

«These new HIMARS launchers will provide unmatched mobile firepower in support of multi-domain operations, and our allies can count on Lockheed Martin’s continued support in maintaining these combat-proven systems», said Campbell.

HIMARS is a lightweight mobile launcher, transportable via C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment, that fires Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets, Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles, the next-generation Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and Extended-Range GMLRS rockets. HIMARS consists of a launcher loader module and fire control system mounted on a five-ton truck chassis. A specialized armored cab provides additional protection to the three crew members that operate the system.

For more than 40 years, Lockheed Martin has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions, providing highly reliable, combat-proven systems like MLRS, HIMARS, ATACMS and GMLRS to domestic and international customers.

Precision Strike Missile

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. All objectives were achieved in a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight last December.

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program March 10, 2020, demonstrating a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight in December 2019, shown here

«Today’s flight test further demonstrated the reliability, precision and critical capabilities Lockheed Martin is building into the PrSM», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «The missile performed exactly as expected and successfully engaged the target with pinpoint accuracy».

PrSM was fired from Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and flew a nominal trajectory approximately 180 kilometers/112 miles to the target area, culminating in a highly accurate and lethal warhead event.

Test objectives included confirming the missile’s flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to warhead event, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS launcher integration and overall missile performance.

«This second consecutive successful flight test of Lockheed Martin’s PrSM validates our missile technology and confidence that Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned to deliver this important, cost-effective capability to meet our U.S. Army customer’s priorities», Campbell said.

The next-generation precision-strike, surface-to-surface weapon system will deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking, neutralizing, suppressing and destroying targets at depth on the battlefield and give field artillery units a new long-range capability while supporting brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint and Coalition forces.

Modular Pods

The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $10.5 million contract to develop a new modular pod for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets. The new pods will replace the depleting inventory of M26 rocket pods and support the increased production of GMLRS rounds.

Lockheed Martin to develop Modular Pods for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System

The modular pod is designed to allow for reloading of individual rocket tubes as they are expended, whereas the original GMLRS pods are discarded after use. The pod will be able to fire the GMLRS Unitary and Alternative Warhead variants, as well as the developmental Extended-Range GMLRS rockets and future rounds.

«The new pods will be compatible with both the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and MLRS M270 family of launchers», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «These new pods will improve reload operations and assure our warfighters have adequate rounds available to them when they are most needed».

The modular pods will be produced at Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Ark. Ground testing will begin this fall, with a planned flight test before the end of the calendar year. The first deliveries of the new modular pod are anticipated in the fall of 2021.

For more than 40 years, Lockheed Martin has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions, providing highly reliable, combat-proven systems like MLRS, HIMARS, the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and GMLRS to global customers.

Dawn Blitz 2017

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was fired from the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) during Dawn Blitz 2017 October 22.

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is fired from the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) during Dawn Blitz 2017 over the Pacific Ocean, October 22, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson/Released)
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is fired from the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) during Dawn Blitz 2017 over the Pacific Ocean, October 22, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson/Released)

The HIMARS is a weapons system made up of the M142, five-ton chassis vehicle and can carry either a launcher pod of six rockets or one MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

It enables Marines to engage targets within minutes after firing and features an advanced targeting system that strikes with an extremely high accuracy rate. The system also features a greater range than traditional artillery, allowing smaller units to cover a larger area.

The demonstration on Anchorage consisted of HIMARS engaging a land-based target with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS-U).

«We had two training objectives for today’s shoot», said Army Major Adam Ropelewski, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), lead planner for sea-based expeditionary fires. «The first training objective was demonstrating this capability and, second, we wanted to have good effects on the target. We achieved both objectives. We destroyed the target at 70 kilometers/43.5 miles while at sea.

Developing sea-based fires alternatives such as the HIMARS afloat and proving them to be effective provides an opportunity for our Navy and Marine Corps team to evaluate, refine and improve processes to be ready for the future fight.

«In an environment where we are operating in contested waters, we are finding a way to be able to support the land force with deeper strike capabilities», said Captain AJ Kowaleuski, an artillery officer with I MEF.

This ability provides flexibility while the Navy and Marine Corps are supporting each other in combined operations.

This portion of Dawn Blitz validated the commander’s ability to integrate HIMARS with ships to conduct a sea-based strike.

«What we demonstrated not only was its capability, but we further demonstrated capabilities from the blue-green team and Amphibious Force 3», said Ropelewski. «They performed very well and were able to come together and work hard to make the mission successful».

The shoot was a success from the operator’s perspective as well. «We shot a rocket off Anchorage to validate that we, as HIMARS operators, can shoot off an LPD and successfully hit the target», said Lance Corporal Ryan Irving, a HIMARS operator assigned to 5th Battalion, 11th Marines.

Exercises like Dawn Blitz are another way to strengthen and continue the interdependent relationship between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Irving concluded, «It’s nice to have a force integration, where we can work with the Navy and learn from each other in these situations».

Dawn Blitz is a scenario-driven exercise designed to train and integrate U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units by providing a robust training environment where forces plan and execute an amphibious assault, engage in live-fire events and establish expeditionary advanced bases in a land and maritime threat environment to improve naval amphibious core competencies.

HIMARS is launched aboard USS Anchorage (LPD-23)

Poland Selects HIMARS

The Polish Armament Group (PGZ) has selected Lockheed Martin for exclusive further negotiations to develop the Polish Homar program on the basis of the Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

Poland Selects Lockheed Martin's HIMARS Launcher for Homar Program for Exclusive Further Negotiations
Poland Selects Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS Launcher for Homar Program for Exclusive Further Negotiations

The partnership will develop in-country defense technology modernization via transfer of technology, in-country production/manufacturing and future modernization.

Lockheed Martin produces HIMARS launchers for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and international customers. The highly mobile platform delivers accurate, lethal, quick-strike munitions ranging from 9.3 miles/15 kilometers to 186.4 miles/300 kilometers.

HIMARS carries a six-pack of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets or one Tactical Missile System (TACMS) missile, and can be configured to launch other variant munitions. The system can be modified for Air Defense, and has demonstrated medium-range missile defense capability. The latest HIMARS fi re control system provides cutting-edge technology to the user for the most up-to-date fi ring solutions. The system has the capability to receive variable-form messaging of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) data in order to precisely target and eliminate threats.

The HIMARS solution is a highly reliable fielded system with a 99-percent Operational Availability for maximized combat effectiveness. HIMARS brings interoperability to allies and partners with like capabilities simplifying operations, logistics and training.

HIMARS In Action

Successful in Tests

Lockheed Martin’s modernized Tactical Missile System (TACMS) missile continued its streak of successful flight tests with two recent flights at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. These tests represent the third and fourth consecutive successful trials of the modernized TACMS.

A TACMS long-range missile takes flight from a Lockheed Martin M270A1 launcher during a test
A TACMS long-range missile takes flight from a Lockheed Martin M270A1 launcher during a test

In December 2016, a modernized TACMS successfully engaged and destroyed a target in a 44-mile/71-kilometer test. And in early February 2017, a fourth modernized TACMS destroyed a target at White Sands at a range of more than 124 miles/200 kilometers. In both tests, the TACMS missiles were launched from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher.

«With our third and fourth consecutive successful modernized TACMS flights, I believe we have demonstrated that our production quality and new technology are ready to move forward», said Scott Greene, vice president of Precision Fires & Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «These modernized TACMS missiles will allow our warfighters to quickly and accurately address imprecisely located targets on the battlefield».

The missiles used in these two tests were produced at Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires Production Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.

As part of the U.S. Army’s TACMS Service Life Extension Program, the modernized missile includes new state-of-the-art guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. The TACMS modernization process disassembles and demilitarizes TACMS Block 1 and 1A submunition warheads, replacing them with new unitary warheads and bringing them into compliance with Department of Defense policy on cluster munitions and unintended harm to civilians. The modernization process also resets the missile’s 10+ year shelf life.

In December 2014, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army signed a $74 million contract to take existing TACMS missiles from inventory and modernize them.

The TACMS platform provides maximum flexibility to quickly integrate new payloads and capabilities to meet current and future demands.

With unsurpassed performance and an unwavering commitment to production excellence, TACMS is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile ever employed by the U.S. Army in combat. TACMS missiles can be fired from the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers.

Extreme Accuracy

Lockheed Martin’s first modernized Tactical Missile System (TACMS) missile completed a successful first flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The modernized TACMS missile includes updated guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets
The modernized TACMS missile includes updated guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets

The missile was launched from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher at a target area more than 80.8 miles/130 kilometers away, precisely hitting the target with a proximity sensor-enabled detonation. All test objectives were achieved.

«This was a successful test that proves that the new Modernized TACMS retains the extreme precision this product line is known for», said Scott Greene, vice president of Precision Fires/Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «With Modernized TACMS, we are taking existing missiles from inventory and giving our customer an essentially new missile».

As part of the U.S. Army’s TACMS Service Life Extension Program inventory refurbishment effort, the modernized missile includes updated guidance electronics, and added capability to defeat area targets without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. The missile was produced at the Lockheed Martin Precision Fires Production Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.

The TACMS (formerly ATACMS) modernization process disassembles and demilitarizes previous-generation submunition warheads that do not comply with the international Convention on Cluster Munitions, replacing them with new unitary warheads. The modernization process also resets the missile’s 10+ year shelf life.

Additionally, the TACMS platform provides flexibility to quickly integrate novel payloads and new capabilities as required by the warfighter.

With unsurpassed performance and an unwavering commitment to production excellence, TACMS is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile ever employed by the U.S. Army in combat. TACMS missiles can be fired from the entire family of MLRS launchers, including the lightweight HIMARS.