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M30 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

The Army's ability to protect itself from long distance attack has been eroded with the proliferation of long-range rocket and cannon systems. To counter this, the US Army Missile Command's Research, Development and Engineering Center, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama, with support from private industry, began working on a GMLRS to replace the basic (M26) and ER-MLRS (M26A2) rockets. GMLRS extends the range of MLRS fires to more than 60 kilometers and substantially improve MLRS accuracy. GMLRS provides the same lethality as the M26 and M26A2 with far fewer rockets.

The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) consists of two variants of rockets fired from the M270A1 or High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers. The GMLRS Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) variant carries 404 bomblets, while the M31A1 (Unitary) rocket has a single, 200-pound class, high-explosive, Unitary warhead. Both variants use an inertial measurement unit guidance system that is aided by the Global Positioning System.

With the planned capabilities of the rockets, the Army intended that a unit equipped with GMLRS would shoot farther (over 60 km versus 30 km) and achieve desired effects with fewer rockets (due to improved accuracy) and fewer duds (for GMLRS DPICM) or reduced collateral damage (for GMLRS Unitary) than the currently fielded MLRS rocket. GMLRS is used primarily in general support of maneuver divisions and corps. GMLRS DPICM is employed against lightly armored, stationary targets such as towed artillery, air defense units, and communication sites.

The Cluster Munitions Policy Memo (19 June 2008) directed that after 2018, cluster munitions must not produce >1% UXO; a limit that will not be waived. It provided no differentiation between types of UXO (hazardous or non-hazardous duds). All cluster munition stocks that exceed operational planning requirements will be removed from the inventory as soon as possible, but not later than June 2009. The previous UXO Requirement: < 2% 20-60km; < 4% < 20km and > 60km. GMLRS DPICM with Self Destruct Fuze (SDF) development and performance demonstrated "hazardous" dud rate of only 0.15%, overall UXO 3.7%, which does not comply with the new DOD Policy.

M26 (DPICM)32.5km360,1920
M26A2 (DPICM)45.0km3,9240
M30 (DPICM)70.0km1,9140
M31A1 (Unitary)70.0km204 33,000

US production had been scheduled to begin in FY02 with a planned buy of approximately 100,000 rockets. During a 22 October 2009 review, the Army acquisition chief, Dean Popps, and other top officials decided to temporarily delay production of the DPICM version of the munition, instead buying only the GPS-guided unitary variant in the near term. According to MLRS Program Manager Col. Dave Rice, "We are building all Unitary MLRS rockets until production cut-in of the AWP rocket, which we anticipate in FY '14,". Rice added "We are right now in the process of building the very last DPICM rockets... These rockets are the last U.S. Army DPICM rockets as well as those the [United Arab Emirates] ordered. So, by about Thanksgiving, the U.S. Army is out of the DPICM rocket business." About 2,500 DPICM rockets would remain in the U.S. inventory until the AWP rockets become available, tentatively expected in Fiscal 2015.

The GMLRS DPICM Demonstrated Performance in Reliability is 0.88. The GMLRS Reliability Working Group conducted a GMLRS DPICM Reliability Scoring Conference on August 18, 2014. The GMLRS DPICM Reliability was assessed at 0.88 (120 Flight Successes of 137 Attempts).

The GMLRS Unitary Demonstrated Performance in Reliability is 0.94. The GMLRS Reliability Working Group conducted a GMLRS Unitary Reliability Scoring Conference on August 18, 2014. The GMLRS Unitary Reliability was assessed at 0.94 (133 Flight Successes of 142 Attempts).

The GMLRS AW test program has a reliability growth curve and will demonstrate 0.92 Reliability by the end of IOT&E. The GMLRS AW Production Qualification Test (PQT) Phase I Reliability was assessed at 1.0 (17 Flight Successes of 17 Attempts). The program completed PQT Phase II - Developmental Test/Operational Test Ground, flight phase with an assessed reliability is 1.0 (15 Flight Successes of 15 Attempts), the GMLRS AW Production Verification Test flight phase and the assessed reliability is 1.0 (6 Flight Successes of 6 Attempts). The program completed the IOT&E with an assessed reliability of 0.97 (29 Flight Successes of 30 Attempts). GMLRS AW test program achieved an overall reliability of 0.99 (74 flight successes of 75 attempts). This completed the GMLRS AW test phase. GMLRS AW Range for Max and Min Demonstrated Performance changed from TBD to 70 and 15. The Hazardous Dud Rate Demonstrated Performance change from TBD to 0%. Both Changes were due to the demonstrated performance duiring IOT&E.

The GMLRS DPICM Milestone C ADM, approved on March 24, 2003, authorized LRIP quantity not to exceed 13,998 rockets. This quantity was based on the Army Acquisition Objective of 140,004 rockets. The actual GMLRS DPICM LRIP quantity is 1,961 rockets. The GMLRS Unitary Milestone C ADM, signed May 2, 2007, authorized the LRIP quantity not to exceed 3,480 rockets based on the total expected procurement quantity of 34,848. The actual GMLRS LRIP quantity is 2,484 rockets.

The GMLRS AW Milestone B ADM was signed on February 19, 2012 and approved an LRIP quantity of 498 rockets. However, the Aquisition Strategey for GMLRS AW, signed on January 7, 2013, stated the program will conduct the Inital Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) during the EMD phase and combine Milestone C with the FRP Decision Review. Therefore, no LRIP quantity was needed. Necessary assets were procured to support IOT&E during EMD. The Current Total LRIP reported in the December 31, 2012 SAR was 4,943. This value was the summation of 1,961 GMLRS DPICM, 2,484 GMLRS Unitary, and 498 GMLRS AW. This quantity was adjusted to 4,445 to reflect actual LRIP quantities of the three GMLRS variants.

The United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France, and Italy are not FMS customers but rather Cooperative Partner nations. Development of the original GMLRS rocket was cooperatively funded by these four nations and the U.S. under the authority of a Memorandum of Understanding. Since then, all four Cooperative Partner nations have procured GMLRS rockets from the U.S. production line, and may procure additional GMLRS rockets in the future. The UK has procured 2,844 GMLRS Unitary rockets under LRIP and FRP III, IV, and V contracts. The UK successfully fired 817 GMLRS rockets in a combat environment in support of Coalition Forces. Germany has procured 420 rockets under GMLRS FRP I, III, IV, and V contracts. France has procured 270 rockets under GMLRS FRP IV and V contracts. Italy procured 216 rockets under GMLRS FRP VII and IX contracts.

MLRS Smart Tactical Rocket (MSTAR)

The Fiscal Year 2001 Army budget request included decisions to restructure or "divest" a number of programs in order to provide some of the resources to support its transformation to achieve the ambitious deployment goals outlined in the October 1999 Army Vision. The restructured programs are the Crusader and the Future Scout and Cavalry System. The "divestitures" include Heliborne Prophet (Air), MLRS Smart Tactical Rocket (MSTAR), Stinger Block II, Command and Control Vehicle (C2V), Grizzly, Wolverine, and the Army Tactical Missile System Block IIA. Funding for these programs was reallocated to fund the Army Vision transformation strategy.

The MLRS Smart Tactical Rocket was the next step in the evolution of the MLRS Rocket. The MSTAR was to be a Guided (MSTAR) rocket carrying terminally guided, smart submunitions to a maximum range of approximately 60 km. After dispense, these munitions would use onboard sensors to detect and engage stationary or moving targets. An Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) was scheduled to begin in FY98, followed by EMD beginning in FY02.

Four candidate submunitions, P3I BAT, SADARM, LOCAAS, and Damocles are being evaluated to determine which one best meets Army requirements. Each candidate carries a sensor suite to detect, classify and engage high value targets. They use either explosively formed penetrators or shaped charges to penetrate armor.

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Page last modified: 29-05-2019 19:05:53 ZULU