GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas–The Lockheed Martin [LMT] plant in Camden, Ark. has a goal of producing 52 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) per day, as the U.S. Army ramps up production to satisfy the demands for supplying Ukraine and replenishing U.S. Army stocks.

“If you assume 12 months a year, and you take 10,000 [GMLRS] and divide by 12, that’s 833 [GMLRS] a month,” Jay Price, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s vice president of precision fires, said in an interview in response to a question on how Lockheed Martin derived the current 52 GMLRS per day figure. “We work a four day week so Monday through Thursday. We do what’s called a four [days at] 10 [hours per day] so on a normal month, that’s 16 work days. If you take 833 divided by 16, that’s 52.0625 GMLRS [per day].”

Last month, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said that the

conflict in Ukraine has highlighted weaknesses in the munitions industrial base, and she detailed near-term plans to increase production capacity for key Army weapons, including 155 mm artilery shells and GMLRS (Defense Daily, March 16).

Wormuth said that the Army aims to build 75,000 155 mm rounds by early FY 2025 and that the service wants to ramp up GMLRS production in the next few years from 6,000 annually to 14,000 per year.

The latter would require Camden to hit a rate of nearly 73 GMLRS per day with a normal workshift, and thus the company is considering moving to two shifts.

“The [GMLRS] pacing item, frankly, has been rocket motors,” Wormuth said last month. “We’re now back to two sources for rocket motors in GMLRS, and that’s allowing us to make some good progress.”

Lockheed Martin’s two rocket motor suppliers for GMLRS are Aerojet Rocketdyne‘s [AJRD] Solid Rocket Motor Center of Excellence in Camden and Northrop Grumman‘s [NOC] Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in Rocket Center, W.Va. ABL was formerly part of Orbital ATK, which Northrop Grumman bought in 2018.

A recent article in The Atlantic quoted Price as saying that Lockheed Martin’s Camden plant built 7,500 GMLRS last year–1,500 more than Wormuth cited last month as the current yearly rate.

“It’s in that range, and it’s primarily driven by orders,” Price said on Apr. 13 of the 7,500 GMLRS production figure in the article. “We’ll transition progressively from where we’re at today up to 14K within the next two and a half years.”

The 200 pound GMLRS contains 51 pounds of polymer-bonded explosive-109 (PBXN-109)–64 percent of which is RDX; 20 percent aluminum and 16 percent plastic fillers. The BAE Systems-operated Holston Army Ammunition plant in Kingsport, Tenn. is the domestic maker of RDX. Britain devised RDX to be more powerful than TNT to destroy thick-hulled German U-boats in World War II.

A sufficient supply of explosives does not appear to be a worry for GMLRS.

“None of that’s creeping up to be an issue,” Price said. “It’s really just time. Time is really the item, scaling up our various suppliers…You’re only as fast as your slowest item coming through the door in Camden.”