Lockheed Martin Extended Range GMLRS proves crucial in Ukrainian war

The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) has seen major advances in range, increasing from 70 km initially to 150 km. Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated the capabilities of its Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) during a flight test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The missile was launched from the US Army's HIMARS launcher. According to Jay Price, vice president of precision fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, this test showed a nearly two-fold increase in range while retaining the renowned accuracy of GMLRS.
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The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) has seen major advances in range, increasing from 70 km initially to 150 km (Picture source: US DoD)

In this initial 150-kilometer test, the ER GMLRS demonstrated its proficiency in flight path, extended range, and accuracy from launch to impact, exceeding established success criteria. The product is also seamlessly integrated with the HIMARS system, achieving impressive overall missile performance. Prior to launch, the rocket pod underwent rigorous Stock Sequence to Target (STS) testing, evaluating the durability of the missile and validating the robustness of the launch container.

These advances in warhead design were particularly impactful in the Ukrainian conflict. The system was used to effectively target Russian equipment and forces, providing Ukrainian forces with a significant advantage in range and accuracy. The GMLRS thus continues to play a crucial role in modern military operations, providing long-range strike capabilities with unprecedented precision.

Indeed, GMLRS has proven to be a true paradigm shift. Given Russia's indiscriminate bombing of Ukrainian neighborhoods, the ability to destroy long-range rocket and missile launchers has proven crucial. Even with NATO and Ukraine's surveillance capabilities, a way to destroy these launchers without air superiority had to be found, a task that GMLRS was able to accomplish.

Lockheed Martin has produced more than 60,000 GMLRS rockets and remains under annual contract to continue to manufacture unitary and alternate warhead GMLRS rockets, as well as provide integrated logistics support for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and international customers. These advanced systems are manufactured at Lockheed Martin's Precision Marksmanship Center of Excellence located in Camden, Arkansas.