Production of the GMLRS Extended Range begins. New production ATACMS for Foreign Military Sales 09/07/2024 | Gabriele Molinelli

Production of the new Extended Range GMLRS rocket, which brings range up from 84 to 150 km (minimum range unchanged at 15 km) is finally underway.

After the completion of test firings, the Army contracted Lockheed Martin (LM) to cut the new rocket into the production line in Camden, Arkansas. The contract modification, for circa $200 million including funding for tooling and depot spares, should cover the production of a fist lot of 240 ER rockets, according to what spokespersons from the US Army and LM have said in June.

The order reportedly dates back to January. In terms of procurement, the US included 120 ER rockets (20 pods) fitted with the Alternative Warhead for kinetic area attack in its Full Rate Production Lot 19 order (Fiscal Year 2024) and has requested 510 ER rockets with unitary warhead (85 pods) in FY 2025, alongside 5,898 standard rockets, of which 3,000 with unitary warhead and 2,898 with AW.

A further 4,980 rockets will be included for Foreign Military Sales customers (distribution undisclosed) and over 1,000 are funded in connection to support to Ukraine. Production of GMLRS rockets is ramping up quickly and it is intended that capacity will grow to 14,000 per year (from 6,000 before the Ukraine war added urgency).

Several Foreign Military Sales customers have already requested various amounts of ER rockets and production for export will eventually follow. In the final quarter of this year the Pentagon expects to sign the first ever Multi Year Procurement contract for GMLRS rockets and it is expected that the UK will be part of the program ordering in the process its first stock of ER rockets.

n the meanwhile, on July 2, a $226,8 million USD contract (cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price) has been assigned to Lockheed Martin for the production of new Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) for several export customers, specifically Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, and Poland.

While the sub-division of the order between customers is not provided, activities covered by this contract award should be complete by Dec. 30, 2028.

Latvia was cleared in 2023 to procure up to 10 M57 pods (each pod contains a single missile) as part of its HIMARS M-142 procurement. Similarly, Morocco was authorized to buy up to 40 M57 alongside its HIMARS while Lithuania and Estonia asked for 18 each as part of their own HIMARS requests in 2022.

In 2 separate authorizations in 2018 and in 2023, Poland has been cleared to acquire up to 30 and up to 45 M57 missiles alongside the HIMARS and launch modules destined to the HOMAR K launchers to be developed locally with JELCZ truck base.

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