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Lockheed awarded $471 million contract for MLRS rocket production

By Stephen Carlson
A U.S. Army MLRS live-fire exercise in South Korea. Lockheed Martin announced Thursday it was awarded a contract to produce the missiles the missiles for the U.S. Army and foreign military customers. U.S. Army photo
A U.S. Army MLRS live-fire exercise in South Korea. Lockheed Martin announced Thursday it was awarded a contract to produce the missiles the missiles for the U.S. Army and foreign military customers. U.S. Army photo

July 13 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received a $471 million contract for production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles for the U.S. Army and foreign military customers, the company announced on Thursday.

The contract will provide for the manufacture of GMLRS Unitary and Alternative Warhead rockets. Work and production will take place in Camden, Ark., and Dallas, Texas, with an expected completion date in the summer of 2019.

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The GMLRS is a precision-guided artillery rocket deployed from the M270A1 MLRS and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mobile rocket launcher vehicles. Variants can achieve a range of over 40 miles and allow one-shot engagement of point targets with high accuracy compared to earlier unguided models.

The Alternative Warhead rocket is designed to achieve the same area affects of submunitions without the danger of unexploded bomblets that could pose dangers to civilians. Submunition or cluster munitions are banned in many countries by international treaty.

The Unitary Rocket rocket features a guidance system and a penetrating warhead that allows the MLRS and HIMARS to strike single targets rather than the wide-area suppression fire they were originally designed for.

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Both the 270A1 MLRS and M142 HIMARS are widely used by NATO members and other allied nations, in addition to being the primary rocket artillery systems of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

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