Lockheed Martin has received $194 M from the US Army Aviation & Missile Command for production of the combat-proven Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Work will be conducted at the company’s facilities in Dallas and Horizon City, TX, with completion expected by the second quarter of 2010.
The contract includes the ATACMS Quick Reaction Unitary and the Block IA Missiles. ATACMS is the world’s premier long-range missile artillery round designed specifically for destroying high-priority targets at ranges up to 300 kilometers. Able to deliver a wide variety of warhead options, it can operate in all climate and light conditions while remaining beyond the range of most conventional weapons.
“Combat-proven ATACMS adds to the concept of ‘joint fires interdependence’ by offering the right munition to achieve the right effect at the right time, regardless of the color of the uniform you’re wearing,” said Col. Gary S. Kinne, Training and Doctrine Command Capabilities Manager for Rocket and Missile Systems at Fort Sill, OK. “The Army’s first surface-to-surface, long-range, all-weather, precision attack capability used in combat, ATACMS provides the Joint Force Commander an immediately available, lethal asset to attack time-sensitive and high value stationary or fixed targets in both open and constrained environments (complex/urban terrain).”
During the first Operation Desert Storm, ATACMS became the first tactical surface-to-surface missile ever fired in combat by the US Army. ATACMS is an evolutionary family of missiles that scored numerous successes again in Operation Iraqi Freedom, during which 456 missiles were fired.
“ATACMS is performing excellently for our Warfighters,” said Jim Gribschaw, director of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “A veteran of many battles, ATACMS is indispensable to the present fight, and gives commanders the ability to accurately engage the enemy at depth on the battlefield. And ATACMS’s pinpoint accuracy helps minimize collateral damage.”
Each ATACMS missile is approximately 13 feet long, two feet in diameter and has a range of up to 300 kilometers. A single ATACMS missile can defeat company-size targets beyond the range of current Army cannons and rockets. The first launch of an ATACMS missile was April 26, 1988, at White Sands Missile Range, NM.