Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin has just received a $227 million contract from the US Army for its brand new Alternative Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS). The new US Army contract also includes provisions to provide for a Foreign Military sale of GMLRS rockets to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. GMLRS is an all-weather rocket designed to perform in any condition, with swift deployment and a range far greater than that of conventional weapon. Also, the new alternative version of the GMLRS vastly improves upon its predecessor. New features include a more precise accuracy processor, an enhanced anti-jam system, a 200 pound Unitary Warhead, one-round one kill capability, and reduced collateral damage. One of if not the largest improvement in the alternative GMLRS is the lowered risk of unexploded ordinance. This missile has one of the longest ranges of any submunition warheads, but it is also incredibly accurate.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Tactical Missiles vice-president Ken Musculus stated the following about the GMLR and the Alternative GMLR:
"GMLRS is a combat proven precision-strike system. We are confident that the new GMLRS Alternative Warhead will also provide reliable, highly accurate capability for our domestic and international customers."
The GMLRS rocket is currently launched from the Lockheed HIMARS or M20 family of launchers during combat operations. The new features included within the alternative GMLRS rocket gives operators in the field of duty much more confidence that the device will detonate when employed.
As for the production of GMLRS rockets, Lockheed manufactures them in their award-winning Camden, Arkansas, facility. Lockheed has produced more than 25,000 GMLRS rockets to date from this facility. Aside from the US Army, Lockheed also produces GMLRS for the armed forces of France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and Singapore. The GMLRS has been quite popular in recent years, so look for more orders of the improved Alternative version in the years to come.
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