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Lockheed Martin completes tests with modernized TACMS missiles

By Ryan Maass
Lockheed Martin completes tests with modernized TACMS missiles
Testing with the modernized Tactical Missile System munitions supports the U.S. Army's TACMS Service Life Extension Program, an effort to extend the service life for the missile systems. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin announced two rounds of successful testing with the modernized Tactical Missile System for the U.S. Army.

The trials were completed in December and early February at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, representing the third and fourth consecutive demonstrations with the weapon. The missiles were launched using a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, for both tests.

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The modernized TACMS engaged its target at a 44-mile range in December, and over a 124-mile range in February. Lockheed Martin officials say the demonstrations confirmed the technological capabilities for the upgraded Tactical Missile System, or TACMS.

"With our third and fourth consecutive successful modernized TACMS flights, I believe we have demonstrated that our production quality and new technology are ready to move forward," Lockheed Martin's Scott Greene explained in a press release. "These modernized TACMS missiles will allow our warfighters to quickly and accurately address imprecisely located targets on the battlefield."

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The testing supported the U.S. Army's TACMS Service Life Extension, which aims to add over ten additional years to the weapon's shelf life. The modernized munitions feature an improved guidance and control system, new software, and an upgraded fuze.

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Lockheed Martin signed a contract with the Army in 2014 to make the adjustments, which the company says will help the branch reduce collateral damage on the battlefield.

TACMS missiles are powered by a a solid fuel rocket motor, measure approximately 13 feet long, and can engage targets 186 miles away. It is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile used by the U.S. armed forces.

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