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Lockheed Martin GMLRS ready to enter next testing phase

17th April 2014 - 02:23 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Lockheed Martin has conducted the fifth and final Production Qualification Test (PQT) for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead. The company reports that the tests, conducted at White Sands Missile Range, were a success.

The long-range test saw four rockets fired from a HIMARS launcher and destroy their respective targets approximately 65km away. 

The test is the final milestone before the Developmental Test/Operational Test (DT/OT) phase, which incorporates soldiers into the system testing. The DT/OT phase will begin this summer and will conclude with the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) exercise in the fall of 2014.

Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said: ‘This next phase of testing will be critical in determining operational effectiveness. We are committed to the customer and their success on the battlefield, and these tests ensure production of a trustworthy and effective solution.’

Lockheed Martin received a $79.4 million contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) in April 2012 to develop the Alternative Warhead Program (AWP). Under the terms of the contract, the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the programme runs 36 months, focusing on system performance, warhead qualification and producibility.

The Alternative Warhead is designed to engage the same target set and achieve the same area-effects requirement as the GMLRS submunitions warhead, but without the lingering danger of unexploded ordinance. The Alternative Warhead is being developed by ATK under subcontract to Lockheed Martin.

The AWP is part of a US DoD plan to create a GMLRS variant which meets its cluster munition policy. The Lockheed Martin GMLRS Alternative Warhead programme will also be compliant with the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions international treaty.

The Shephard News Team


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