By Ann Roosevelt

Lockheed Martin [LMT] last week held ceremonies marking the delivery of the 5,000th Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rocket at company manufacturing facilities in Camden Ark.

"The success of this system speaks for the quality work that our team is doing every day," Col. David Rice, Army project manager for Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems, said. "We are a constant in this fight, always mission ready and on target. In this fight, precision is the name of the game, and that is why our soldiers love this system."

Col. Gary Kinne, Army Training and Doctrine Command Capability manager for rockets and missiles, said in a teleconference that tactics, techniques and procedures are still evolving while GMLRS is being used in Iraq. "We’re always learning new things." However, those tactics are "not changing as vastly as when we first fielded the system."

In January, Both the GMLRS and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) programs received the William J. Perry Award for Precision Strike for outstanding combat effectiveness, as well as for the programs’ in theater performance and path forward (Defense Daily, Jan. 11).

GMLRS is an all-weather, precision engagement artillery rocket system that achieves greater range and accuracy requiring fewer rockets to defeat targets, thus reducing the number of rockets needed to defeat current targets as well as limiting the damage around the target. The rocket system is effective against counter fire, air defense, light materiel and personnel targets. GMLRS incorporates a GPS-aided inertial guidance package integrated on a product-improved rocket body. Small canards on the guided rocket nose add basic maneuverability to increase the accuracy of the system.

Glenn David Woods, Lockheed Martin Camden plant manager, said the current production schedule is moving at "four 10-hour workdays on a single shift" to meet the customers needs.

In November, the Lockheed Martin GMLRS conducted successful test flights in a jamming environment at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (Defense Daily, Nov. 7).