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L3Harris to Develop and Modernize Rocket Launch Vehicle Fire Control Systems

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L3Harris to Develop and Modernize Rocket Launch Vehicle Fire Control Systems

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US Army M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
US Army M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

L3Harris Technologies has received contracts to develop and modernize fire control systems on rocket launch vehicles that help the U.S. Army and allied forces around the world establish battlefield dominance. Under contracts totaling up to $124 million, L3Harris will provide the Common Fire Control System (CFCS) on both the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) vehicles produced by Lockheed Martin. The upgraded fire control units provide enhanced digital processing power and modernized computing infrastructure while eliminating difficult hand assembly and component preparation. L3Harris is increasing CFCS production rates through streamlined supply chain and manufacturing processes to support increased demand driven by the Ukraine conflict.

The L3Harris CFCS combines three vital capabilities for fire control – the Common Launcher Control Unit, Weapon Control Unit and Power Switching Unit. The components are key to allowing operators to control weapons, regulate power and ultimately launch the rockets from the vehicle. The systems are compatible with the M142 HIMARS, a wheeled vehicle, and the tracked M270 MLRS. Providing a common solution for both vehicles reduces lifecycle costs compared to separate systems for each and simplifies production, maintenance, logistics and training. L3Harris began delivering fire control units for U.S. Army precision ground fire vehicles more than 20 years ago, and the recent agreements are a combination of follow-on orders and new contracts.

M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Launcher.
M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Launcher. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is an American-developed armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher. The M270 MLRS weapons system is collectively known as the M270 MLRS Self-Propelled Loader/Launcher (SPLL). The SPLL is composed of three primary subsystems, namely the M269 Loader Launcher Module (LLM), which also houses the electronic Fire Control System, is mated to the M993 Carrier Vehicle. The M993 is the designation of the M987 carrier when it is used in the MLRS. The M987/M993 is a lengthened derivative of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle chassis. The ground contact length is increased from 154 inches (390 cm) to 170.5 inches (433 cm). Originally called the Fighting Vehicle System, the M987 chassis was designed to serve as the basis for many other vehicles.

The M142 HIMARS (M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army and mounted on a standard U.S. Army Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) M1140 truck frame. It is based on the U.S. Army’s FMTV five-ton truck, and is capable of launching all rockets specified in the Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). The launcher can be transported by C-17 Globemaster, C-5 Galaxy, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. The FMTV truck that transports the HIMARS was initially produced by Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group Tactical Vehicle Systems Division, the original equipment manufacturer of the FMTV. It was produced by the Oshkosh Corporation from 2010 to 2017.

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