Lockheed Martin wins $332 million Pentagon award for rocket production, most of work set for Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 146 views 

Lockheed Martin received a $331.8 million contract from the U.S. Army for Lot 11 production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets, work that will be performed at the defense giant’s industrial manufacturing facilities in Camden and Dallas, Texas.

The contract calls for the production of GMLRS Alternative Warhead rockets, GMLRS Unitary rockets and Reduced-Range Practice Rockets (RRPRs) for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. Foreign military sales of the warhead will also be made to allies in Israel, Finland, Jordan and Singapore, and all production deliveries are anticipated to be completed by March 2018, officials said.

“Our domestic and international customers continue to display their confidence in this combat-proven system by placing orders for the family of MLRS munitions, including the new GMLRS Alternative Warhead round,” said Ken Musculus, vice president of tactical missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Guided MLRS is trusted, reliable and affordable.”

GMLRS is an all-weather rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons. The new GMLRS Alternative Warhead (AW) was the first munition developed to service area targets without the effects of unexploded ordinance, complying with DoD cluster munitions policy.

According to Pentagon and Lockheed Martin officials, GMLRS Unitary rockets greatly exceed the required combat reliability rate and have established a reputation for affordability. The RRPR allows users to train with realistic, full-motored rockets with limited flight range, making them ideal for smaller testing ranges.

A Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rocket.
A Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rocket.

In combat operations, each GMLRS rocket is packaged in an MLRS launch pod and is fired from the Lockheed Martin HIMARS or M270 family of launchers. GMLRS was established as an international cooperative program among the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Other international customers include Japan, Bahrain, Finland, Israel, Jordan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Lockheed Martin has produced more than 30,000 GMLRS rockets at its Camden facility, which has received more than 60 awards over the last decade, including the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Shingo Silver Medallion Award for Operation Excellence.

After losing out on the $30 billion Joint Light Tactical Vehicle award in the fall of 2015 to defense contracting rival Oshkosh Defense, Lockheed Martin’s award-winning Camden plant has landed several new contracts and restarted its Tactical Mission System (TACMS) production line that was suspended in 2014.

Lockheed Martin official have since told Talk Business & Politics that the planned JLTV production facility would continue to be used for other manufacturing operations.

“Lockheed Martin’s Camden Operations continues to be a production center of excellence for the Corporation. We have recently received new orders extending THAAD and PAC-3 production, and our family of Tactical Missiles products, including HIMARS, TACMS and Guided MLRS, continues to evolve in both domestic and international markets.  We have a growing need for manufacturing/production space in Camden,” company officials said earlier this year.

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