Lockheed Martin Corp., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $426,292,567 modification (P00007) to contract W31P4Q-19-C-0092 for building ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missiles and launch assemblies. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas; Camden, Arkansas; Boulder, Colorado; Clearwater, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Lufkin, Texas; Windsor Locks, Connecticut; and Willison, Vermont, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is a surface-to-surface missile (SSM) manufactured by the U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin. It has a range of over 100 miles (160 km), with solid propellant, and is 13 feet (4.0 m) high and 24 inches (610 mm) in diameter. The ATACMS can be fired from multiple rocket launchers, including the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). An ATACMS launch container has a lid patterned with six circles like a standard MLRS rocket lid.
The ATACMS (Army TACtical Missile System) is a US short-range ballistic missile system, and is the only weapon of this type still operational in the US military. It is also designated M39 by the US Army, and its DoD designation is MGM-140. This weapon complements the US military’s rocket artillery systems, effectively closing the gap between artillery systems used by ground forces, and the aircraft and cruise missiles used by air and naval forces.
The ATACMS is not entirely accurate to classify the ATACMS as a “ballistic missile”, as this classification implies that the projectile flies on a ballistic trajectory. While the ATACMS does assume a ballistic arc to its target, it also performs a series of rapid and sudden turns and course corrections on the way to its aimpoint. The ATACMS seemingly erratic flight behavior makes it exceptionally difficult to track or intercept. This class of weapon is thus widely referred to as a “quasi-ballistic missile”, though the US Army has also referred to the ATACMS as a “maneuvering missile”.