Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the fifth and final Production Qualification Test (PQT) for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead.
During the long-range test, four rockets were fired from a HIMARS launcher and destroyed their respective targets approximately 65 kilometers away. The test is the final milestone before the Developmental Test/Operational Test (DT/OT) phase, which will incorporate soldiers into the system testing. The DT/OT phase will begin this summer and will conclude with the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation exercise in the fall of 2014.
"This next phase of testing will be critical in determining operational effectiveness," said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We are committed to the customer and their success on the battlefield, and these tests ensure production of a trustworthy and effective solution."
In April 2012, Lockheed Martin received a $79.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop the Alternative Warhead Program (AWP). Under the terms of the contract, the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development phase of the program runs 36 months, focusing on system performance, warhead qualification and producibility.
The Alternative Warhead is designed to engage the same target set and achieve the same area-effects requirement as the GMLRS submunitions warhead, but without the lingering danger of unexploded ordnance. The Alternative Warhead is being developed by ATK under subcontract to Lockheed Martin.
The AWP is part of a U.S. Department of Defense plan to create a GMLRS variant that meets the DoD's cluster munition policy. The Lockheed Martin GMLRS Alternative Warhead program will also be compliant with the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions international treaty.