February 12, 2008 The US Army has given Lockheed Martin $194 million for the production of the Army Tactical Missile System, which it expects to complete by the second quarter of 2010. The contract includes the ATACMS Quick Reaction Unitary and the Block IA Missiles.
ATACMS is a long-range missile artillery round designed specifically for destroying high-priority targets at ranges up to 300 kilometers. It can deliver a variety of warhead options, and operates in all climate and light conditions while remaining beyond the range of most conventional weapons. ATACMS is the first tactical surface-to-surface missile ever fired in combat by the U.S. Army, first used in the original Gulf War and scoring numerous successes in Operation Iraqi Freedom, during which 456 missiles were fired.
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The Army TACMS Unitary missile is a responsive, all weather, long-range missile, with a high explosive, fragmentation, multifunctional warhead fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System family of launchers, including the MLRS 270A1 launcher and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. The M270, M270-IPDS and M270A1 launchers can carry two ATACMS missiles, or 12 MLRS rockets, in a full load. HIMARS carries a single ATACMS missile, or six MLRS rockets, and is C-130 transportable.
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.
"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’ pinpoint accuracy helps minimize collateral damage."