Lockheed Martin's new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System-Plus (GMLRS+) extended-range rocket successfully completed a 120-kilometer mission at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., an improvement in range of approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) over the current GMLRS round.
Engineers from Lockheed Martin and Aerojet, the GMLRS rocket motor manufacturer, are developing GMLRS+ as a proposed follow-on version of the existing Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System to further extend the rocket's range and add a new capability for a "scalable-effects" warhead.
"With this latest test, we have demonstrated the GMLRS+ range that our soldiers and Marines have been requesting," said Scott Arnold, vice president of precision fires in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business. "While adding this new capability, we are still retaining the system's affordability, precision and reliability."
This test was the first of two Lockheed Martin-funded GMLRS+ launches planned for 2011. The second test will assess the scalable-effects warhead in late fall. The scalable-effects warhead will offer multiple distinct outputs, which can be selected prior to launch.
In a November 10, 2010, test at White Sands Missile Range, a GMLRS+ rocket equipped with a Lockheed Martin Semi-Active Laser seeker flew 40 kilometers downrange, acquired the laser-designated target, and diverted more than 150 meters to the target. The demonstration validated the rocket's ability to acquire a laser-designated target after launch and divert to it.
Aerojet, a world-recognized producer of missile and space propulsion systems and defense armaments, was selected for the test phase as the GMLRS+ warhead and rocket-motor supplier after a two-month evaluation and selection process.
GMLRS+ is a Lockheed Martin internal research and development program to upgrade the combat-proven GMLRS Unitary system, and integrate new capabilities into the existing GMLRS guidance/navigation package and airframe. It will accommodate various warheads, and will operate seamlessly within the current High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and MLRS M270A1 launcher force structure. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the GMLRS program.