M30 Guided MLRS
Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD)
The ATD successfully demonstrated all of its goals and has transitioned to the MLRS Project Office for a 4-year engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) phase. The EMD was conducted as an international program with the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France. Initial plans called for subsequent U.S. production of 90k rounds with the DPICM warhead. The accuracy demonstrated in flight number five's GPS-aided mode opened the door for future consideration of various MLRS unitary warheads and the addition of point targets to the MLRS target set.
The United States entered into a cooperative Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program with the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy to develop a new guided rocket for the Multiple Launch Rocket System. The rocket, known as the M30 GMLRS, has increased range, accuracy and lethality. The GMLRS EMD represented another example of international cooperation to produce a common product to achieve interoperability, while sharing and minimizing costs and risks.
Prime contract for the EMD phase was awarded on 4 November 1998 to Lockheed Martin Vought Systems (LMVS) by the US on behalf of the GMLRS partner nations. The EMD contract was a Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF) type contract worth approximately $121 million and was scheduled to be completed in 48 months. LMVS was selected based on its previous experience and involvement with MLRS launchers and rockets.
The GMLRS EMD contract was one of the first Army programs to use the "Alpha Acquisition" contracting process in which the Integrated Product Team (IPT) approach is used to arrive at an acceptable contract between the prime and the Government in a timely manner. This approach includes the reduction of procurement timelines through the elimination of unnecessary stages, by the adoption of partnering agreements between the contractor and the Government, and by the establishment of collaborative IPTs.
The GMLRS DPICM multi-national, cooperative development and production program had its Milestone C decision in March 2003. At that time it was scheduled for a 2QFY05 full-rate production decision and 2QFY06 initial operational capability.
The GMLRS engineering development tests fired nine rockets in six tests. All of the seven rockets that dispensed sub-munitions were well within the accuracy needed to meet effectiveness requirements. One rocket did not dispense its sub-munitions. The ninth rocket did not launch. The contractor identified fixes and included them in the production qualification flights. The problems have not recurred. The program successfully fired twenty-two of the scheduled 26 rockets during Production Qualification Tests. These rockets were within the accuracy needed to meet requirements. Four separate problems caused the four failures, in which three rockets failed to dispense their submunitions, and one rocket failed to launch. The contractor has identified the causes and will incorporate fixes into the production design. Rocket reliability is within the requirement for the program at this time; however, a higher reliability will be required for the production rockets.
Additional tests, including operational and live fire testing, were planned to demonstrate GMLRS DPICM effectiveness against countermeasured targets and to show its interoperability. Initial flight tests had been accomplished with a modified Improved Position Determining System launcher, as opposed to an operationally representative one. Planned interoperability testing, therefore, will demonstrate that GMLRS can be fired from the M270A1 and HIMARS launchers.
The required dud rate (less than 1 percent) was not achieved. The Army hoped to achieve this requirement by making adjustments to the fuze of the current DPICM bomblet. Even with these changes, the dud rate varies as a function of range between 1.2 and 7.6 percent. This was significantly better than the current MLRS M26 rocket, which has average dud rates of 10 percent at 17 km and 8 percent at 37 km. The Army continued to experiment with fuze adjustments, but it seemed unlikely the bomblet will meet the dud rate requirement for all ranges. Therefore, the Army requested changing the GMLRS sub-munition dud rate requirement to two percent averaged between ranges of 20 and 60 km and four percent averaged for ranges between 15 to 20 km and 60 to 70 km. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved this proposal in November 2003. The international partners are developing a self-destruct fuze, which might reduce the dud rate to less than one percent. Inclusion of this new fuze on the bomblet in production rockets depends on the results of upcoming tests and production costs.
Tests demonstrate that the GMLRS rocket had the accuracy and range needed to meet its requirements; however, the hazardous dud rate continued to be a problem.
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