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Australia set to launch local production of GMLRS rockets

Lockheed Martin-built HIMARS launcher fires a GMLRS rocket during a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Photo: Lockheed Martin

The Australian government announced plans to kickstart the domestic production of the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), slated to commence in 2025.

The recently signed $37.4 million contract between the Australian Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin Australia marks the initial step in the establishment of a domestic GMLRS missile manufacturing capability.

As stated by the Australian government, this agreement will streamline the transfer of essential technical data from the United States, lay the groundwork for engineering certification processes, and initiate the development of technical skills within the Australian workforce.

In addition to GMLRS, the Australian Government is poised to acquire Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM) as part of an AUD 4.1 billion (USD 2,7 billion) investment prompted by the Defense Strategic Review. This acquisition aligns with the ongoing efforts in domestic missile manufacturing. Both PrSM, boasting a range of up to 500km, and the existing GMLRS can be launched from HIMARS launchers.

“This important first step towards the establishment of domestic guided weapons manufacturing in Australia will complement the acquisition of long-range precision strike capabilities and strengthen the ADF’s ability to protect Australia and its interests,” said Minister for Defense and Defense Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy.

“This work is a clear demonstration of the ongoing collaboration between Australia and the United States on Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise – a key outcome of the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations in July 2023,” he added.

GMLRS is an all-weather rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons. The munition is the primary round for the Lockheed Martin produced HIMARS and MLRS family of launchers and features a Global Positioning System (GPS) aided inertial guidance package and small maneuvering canards on the rocket nose, which add maneuverability to enhance the accuracy of the system.