DALLAS, April 17 (UPI) -- The fifth and final production qualification test for Lockheed Martin’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System alternative warhead has been completed.
During the long-range test at the White Sands missile range in New Mexico, four missiles with an alternative warhead were fired from a HIMARS launcher and destroyed targets located about 40 miles away, Lockheed said.
The developmental/operational phase of testing of the system is now scheduled to begin this summer, with the initial operational test and evaluation phase of testing taking place before the end of the year.
“This next phase of testing will be critical in determining operational effectiveness,” said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We are committed to the customer and their success on the battlefield, and these tests ensure production of a trustworthy and effective solution.”
The Alternative Warhead program is part of a U.S. military project for a GMLRS variant that meets Department of Defense policy for cluster munitions as well as an international treaty on cluster munitions. The warhead is designed to meet the destruction area requirements as the usual GMLRS sub-munitions warhead but without a danger of unexploded ordinance remaining.
The alternative warhead is being developed by ATK under a sub-contract from Lockheed Martin.