The propulsion system, once delivered to Lockheed Martin’s Camden, Arkansas, final assembly facility, will be integrated into GMLRS missiles – a ballistic rocket designed to engage targets from 15 to 70 kilometers. Northrop Grumman’s safety enhancing insensitive munition provides the system structural integrity under extreme conditions such as heat, shock and adjacent detonations. The ignition safety device further improves the weapon system’s safety characteristics by preventing unwanted combustion.
“Northrop Grumman is a trusted supplier of GMLRS rocket motors with robust manufacturing capacity to meet the demands of our customer,” said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires for Lockheed Martin.
“We are proactively investing in production facilities and technologies in support of producing even higher rates of rocket motors faster and more affordably to meet our customer’s anticipated demand. We are leveraging our capacity and modern manufacturing facilities to deliver critical military needs,” said Jim Kalberer, vice president of missile products, Northrop Grumman.
GMLRS rockets have an extended range and add GPS-aided guidance to their inertial navigation system. These combat-proven low-cost, low-risk rounds greatly reduce collateral damage and provide tremendous flexibility in addressing today’s threats. Flight control is accomplished by four forward-mounted canards driven by electromechanical actuators. GMLRS rockets can be fired from the M270A1 and M270A2, the European M270A1 variants (British Army M270B1, German Army MARS II, French Army Lance Roquette Unitaire (LRU), Italian Army MLRS Improved (MLRS-I), Finnish Army M270D1), and the lighter M142. M30 and M31 rockets are, except for their warheads, identical. 50,000 GMLRS rockets had been produced, with yearly production then exceeding 9,000 rockets. The GMLRS has a minimum engagement range of 15 km (9.3 mi) and can hit a target out to 70 km (43 mi), impacting at a speed of Mach 2.5.
To help meet the increased demand from the U.S. Army and other DoD services for higher quantities of GMLRS and related systems, Northrop Grumman designed and constructed a purpose-built manufacturing facility at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, W. Va., using lean manufacturing and digital engineering techniques which enables a robust and resilient Defense Industrial Base. The facility provides for the efficient design, development and production of this critical weapon system component. Northrop Grumman’s insensitive munition (IM) compliant propulsion system consists of a modernized solid rocket motor incorporating IM-enhancing technologies and an ignition safety device to further improve the weapon system’s safety characteristics. Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery.