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MGM-168 ATACMS Block IV Unitary

The ATACMS is a surface-to-surface, global positioning system-guided missile for deep-strike attacks against tactical surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missile sites, logistics elements, and command, control, communications complexes. The ATACMS Block IV upgrade would incorporate Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response warheads into 51 ATACMS Block IA missiles. This warhead upgrade was designed to limit collateral damage when used against targets in urban environments and is a direct outgrowth of the Army's inability to conduct deep strike missions against such targets with its existing ATACMS missile inventory during Operation Allied Force.

The FY2001 budget request contained $15.0 million for ATAMCS Block IA missile production support costs, but included no funds to procure ATACMS Block IV missiles. The House Armed Services committee believed that the Army should have the capability to provide joint force commanders with a surface-to-surface deep strike option, which produces limited collateral damage in urban environments. Therefore, the committee recommended $10.0 million to upgrade 51 ATACMS Block IA missiles to Block IV configuration. The Conferees agreed to authorize $6.0 million for ATACMS Block IV.

In August 2003, the designation MGM-168A was assigned to the production variant of the ATACMS Block IVA, which will include technology from the so-called "TACMS 2000" (T2K) program. T2K, funded by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army, was designed to reduce production costs for all ATACMS missiles, and Lockheed Martin claims to have reduced the cost per missile by up to US$ 100000. T2K was also applied to the MGM-140C ATACMS Block II missile, resulting in the MGM-164A variant. On 19 May 2005 Lockheed Martin received a contract valued at $79 million from the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command for the purchase of 106 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block 1A Quick Reaction Unitary missiles. These missiles will include the recently qualified new guidance, control and fuze systems.

Work on the contract will be conducted at the company's facilities in Dallas and Horizon City, TX. Delivery of the missiles is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2006 and will continue throughout 2007.

The ATACMS Block IA Unitary Missile is combat proven in joint operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and is the latest addition to the current ATACMS family of munitions. The Block IA Unitary missile comprises a proven unitary warhead, furnished by the U.S. government, which Lockheed Martin integrates into new ATACMS Block 1A missiles for precision attack out to 300 kilometers. The ATACMS Unitary variant provides the capability to attack high-payoff, time-sensitive targets with limited collateral damage.

"The Quick Reaction Unitary variant will give the U.S. Army the firepower to engage enemy targets in urban and mountainous terrains, where collateral damage is a concern," said Scott Arnold, director - ATACMS Programs for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This missile is extremely accurate and will reduce the number of munitions necessary to defeat targets."

The Army TACMS Unitary missile is a responsive, all-weather, long-range missile, with a high explosive, single-burst warhead fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of launchers, including the MLRS 270A1 launcher and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

This spiral development program includes plans to develop a multi-mode warhead with three fuze options which will provide the capability to attack target sets of the current variants as well as hard targets. This phase of the program is expected to begin in FY'06. In 2007 a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launch truck launched an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block IV missile with a unitary warhead at a bunker test target.



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