Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the third engineering development test flight of the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Preliminary data indicate all test objectives were achieved. During the short-range test, three GMLRS rockets were launched from an MLRS M270A1 launcher and each destroyed its respective ground-based target approximately 17 kilometers away. This was the final engineering development flight test in the series before the program continues to production qualification testing.
The Alternative Warhead Program (AWP) is part of a U.S. Department of Defense plan to create a GMLRS variant designed to achieve the same area-effects as older submunitions warheads, but without the lingering danger of unexploded ordnance. The Alternative Warhead is being developed by ATK under subcontract to Lockheed Martin.
In April 2012, Lockheed Martin received a $79.4 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop AWP. Under the terms of the contract, the EMD phase of the program runs 36 months, focusing on system performance, warhead qualification and producibility.