Above: The 45th FIRES Brigade conducts a live fire exercise at Ft. Sill, Okla., on June 11, 2009. Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Kendall James, Oklahoma National Guard

Lockheed Martin successfully fired a U.S. Army Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rocket 92 kilometers in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Typically the GMLRS is fired at targets 70 km and beyond. The extended range capability was tested as part of the systems’ product improvement, demonstrating the weapon’s maintains its high accuracy even at maximum extended range. The unitary GMLRS rocket was fired by a crew of the U.S. Army 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery from Fort Lewis, WA.

The GMLRS rocket used in this test was fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher, the newest member of the MLRS launcher family. HIMARS can accommodate the entire family of MLRS munitions, including all variants of the Guided MLRS rocket and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles.

Designed to enable troops to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations, HIMARS can launch its missiles and move away from the launch area before enemy forces locate the launch site. HIMARS can be transported by C-130 “Hercules” aircraft, which allows HIMARS to be deployed into areas inaccessible to heavier launchers, and is a force multiplier to the units it supports.

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

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