Lockheed Martin says it has completed another demonstration of 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 last week from a US Army HIMARS launcher and met all criteria in a short-range test flight approximately 59 kilometers to the target area, according to the company.
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. Lockheed explained 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.
The latest test was a shorter range one as Lockheed claims the ER GMLRS can reach targets at distances of around 150 kilometers.
The company demonstrated the rocket’s ability to fly at a distance of 135 kilometers in a test in May last year. That test was the fourth and final trial of the engineering development test phase.
The ER GMLRS program was expected to enter system qualification and operational testing as the next stage of the rocket’s entry into service.
“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.”
Lockheed says it has 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 for the US Army and international customers. The systems are produced at the company’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas.
In addition to the US Army, the newest ER GMLRS variant has been selected by Finland, whose defense ministry approved the purchase in February this year.