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Lockheed Martin Successfully Tests Guidance Upgrade and Improved Software for ATACMS Block IA Unitary


Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully conducted a test of the new upgraded guidance and control system for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The recent test validated the new guidance upgrade, the integration of software and hardware and their interaction with an improved fuze. The missile achieved all test objectives.

“Combat-proven ATACMS adds to the concept of ‘joint fires interdependence’ by offering the right munition to achieve the right effect at the right time, regardless of the color of the uniform you’re wearing,” said Col. Gary S. Kinne, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) systems manager for Rocket and Missile Systems (TSM-RAMS) at Fort Sill, OK. “The Army’s first surface-to-surface, long-range, all-weather, precision attack capability used in combat, ATACMS provides the Joint Force Commander an immediately available, lethal asset to attack time-sensitive and high value stationary or fixed targets in both open and constrained environments (complex/urban terrain). ATACMS will continue to provide a Joint complementary option by its inclusion in the air tasking order for planned attack and defeat of high value targets and/or in a support role to provide Joint suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses. Its precision reach affords the ability to provide responsive, long-range lateral supporting fires as well as shaping fires that set the conditions for decisive victory. This flexibility enables support of non-standard and direct support missions in addition to the more traditional role of general support to a corps or Joint Task Force. Evolving tactics and techniques will enhance its utility well into the foreseeable future.”

The Army TACMS Unitary missile is a responsive long-range missile, with a blast fragmentation warhead fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of launchers, including the MLRS M270A1 launcher and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The ATACMS family of munitions includes the Block I, Block IA, Block IA Unitary and the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTD) Penetrator.

ATACMS was the first tactical surface-to-surface missile ever fired in combat by the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm. ATACMS is a combat proven evolutionary family of missiles which scored numerous successes again in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). During OIF, ATACMS was truly a joint system, providing supporting fires for the Army, Air Force and Marines. This was especially evident during bad weather or when responsiveness for immediate support was needed.

“The new guidance upgrades increase the reliability, accuracy and lethality of the Army ATACMS Block 1A Unitary Missiles,” said Al Duchesne, program director of Missile and Rocket Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The ATACMS missile system expands the wealth of choice commanders on the ground have when low collateral damage is a concern. The vertical impact capability and increased accuracy make ATACMS the ideal system for high payoff targets.”


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