GMLRS M270A1

Product Type:

Rocket Launch System

Using Service (US):

Army

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Lockheed Martin Corporation

The GMLRS

About the GMLRS:





The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) is a tracked, self-propelled, indirect fire, ground rocket/missile system used by the U.S. Army. It is capable of firing all rockets and missiles in the current and future Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of munitions, as well as the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) family of munitions. The system is manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The GMLRS is an international cooperative program among the United States, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Other international customers include Bahrain, Japan, Jordan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

The GMLRS features the MLRS M270A1 C-130 transportable, tracked launcher aka SPLL (Self-Propelled Loader/Launcher), which consists of an electronic Fire Control System (FCS), a carrier (M993 stretched Bradley chassis) and a launcher-loader module that performs all operations necessary to complete a fire mission. The M270A1 launcher appears identical to older M270s but incorporates an improved FCS and an improved Launcher Mechanical System (LMS). M270A1 launchers feature improved survivability, reduced operating cost, increased munition options and GPS navigation. The Army began converting the MLRS fleet from M270s to M270A1s in 2002. The M270A1 is somewhat similar to the wheeled M142 HIMARS launcher.

The two fielded GMLRS rocket variants are the M30 GMLRS with Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) and the M31 GMLRS Unitary, a 200-pound class high explosive warhead. The older M26, M26A1 and M26A2 rockets are no longer fielded. The M31 (the only variant currently being purchased by the U.S. military) integrates a multi-mode fuze and high explosive warhead, making it an all-weather, low collateral damage, precision strike rocket. It employs GPS/INS guidance and has small canards on the rocket nose to improve accuracy. The M31 has a range of over 43.5 miles (70 km). With over 2,100 rockets fired in support of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) by the Army, Marine Corps and United Kingdom, the M31 rocket has demonstrated high effectiveness and low collateral damage while supporting troops in combat. The M31 achieved Initial Operational Capability in 2006.

In December 2013, Lockheed Martin received a $255 million contract from the U.S. Army for Lot 9 production of the M31 Unitary rocket.

An evolutionary improvement of the GMLRS Unitary, the GMLRS+, was being developed by Lockheed Martin with successful flight tests in August/September 2011. The project was an internal Lockheed Martin R&D program. The current status of the GMLRS+ development effort is unknown.

On April 24, 2012, Lockheed Martin received a $79.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new GMLRS Unitary variant that incorporates a so-called "Alternative Warhead." The new warhead will achieve the same wide area effects as DPICM, but not leave unexploded ordnance behind. On May 22, 2013, Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the first Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) flight test of the new GMLRS Alternative Warhead (AW) at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The AW is being developed by ATK under subcontract to Lockheed Martin. The AW is part of a plan to create a GMLRS variant that meets the DoD's cluster-munition policy and is compliant with the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. On July 28, 2014, Lockheed Martin announced that the AW had successfully completed all Developmental Test/Operational Test (DT/OT) flight tests. The EMD phase will end in 2015.



Price/Cost:

In FY 2014, M31 GMLRS Unitary Rockets cost approximately $110,255 each.



Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the GMLRS program is $6.24 billion (estimated by the DoD) + $0.96 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $7.20 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).



Mission/Role:

To neutralize or suppress enemy field artillery and air defense systems and supplement cannon artillery fires.



FY 2014 GMLRS DoD Program:

Continues full rate production as well as product improvements such as insensitive munition and alternative warhead development. FY 2014 procurement funds in the amount of $273.0 million purchases 2,172 M31 GMLRS Unitary rockets for the Army.



FY 2015 GMLRS DoD Program:

Continues full rate production as well as product improvements such as insensitive munition and alternative warhead development. FY 2015 procurement funds in the amount of $127.1 million supports the purchase of M31 534 GMLRS Unitary rockets for the Army and also procures support and equipment for maintenance and obsolescence issues with the fielded MLRS Common Test Device (MCTD) Trainers hardware and software.

For more information, click to view the FY 2015 GMLRS DoD Budget.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Specifications DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: October 28, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



Lockheed Martin: Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System


Lockheed Martin: M31 MLRS Unitary Rocket



YouTube: GMLRS | YouTube Videos



Fact Sheet: M31 Unitary Rocket | Fact Sheet

Total GMLRS Program Cost:

  $7.20 billion  ($6.24B procurement + $0.96B RDT&E)

GMLRS Procurement Objective:

  43,936  (43,560 production and 376 development)

GMLRS U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the GMLRS in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of GMLRS Rockets in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the GMLRS

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of GMLRS Rockets (ARMY) Modification of MLRS Rockets (ARMY)
Specifications

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Specifications: Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS)

Specifications | M31 GMLRS Unitary Rocket

Primary Function: All-weather, low collateral damage, precision strike rocket
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Length: 13 ft (3.96 m)
Diameter: 9 in (22.9 cm)
Range: 37.8 nm/43.5 miles (70 km)
Guidance System: GPS/INS
Warhead: 196 lbs unitary high-explosive warhead
Platforms: Fired from the M270A1 or M142 HIMARS launcher system
Price/Unit Cost: $110,255 (FY 2014)
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2006

Defense Program

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