After two years, Lockheed Martin [LMT] has restarted the Tactical Missile System (TACMS) production line at in Camden, Ark., that will build the surface-to-surface missiles for the Army and foreign military sales customers.
TACMS, previously called the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, for 20 years were built at the company’s facility in Horizon City near El Paso, Texas.
To consolidate all of Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires missile and rocket production, and to save cost, the line was temporarily closed beginning in 2014 while the operation was moved to Arkansas, where production will support missile orders for both the Army and foreign military sale customers, said John Kent, a spokesman for Lockheed Missiles and Fire Control.
“We currently have orders for TACMS – both U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales – as well as ongoing domestic and international interest,” he said.
The Army in early 2015 awarded Lockheed Martin a $78 million contract for modernization and upgrades to the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
The contract is set to take hardware from early-production ATACMS Block 1 missiles and “develop an enhanced and affordable weapon system capable of eliminating targets without the risk on unexploded ordnance,” the company said. These factors are to meet the Army’s long-range precision strike requirement.
The first phase of the program is to include flight tests followed by production in 2016.
Over 560 missiles have been fired in combat and it has high rates of accuracy and reliability. Each missile is bundled in a Guided Missile Launch Assembly pod and fired from Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers.
TACMS is a precision deep-strike system with readiness rates exceeding 98 percent since the program’s initial fielding in 1990. Providing quick-reaction firepower with ranges up to 300 kilometers, the TACMS missiles can be fired from the entire family of MLRS launchers, including the lightweight High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
Lockheed Martin has produced over 3,700 ATACMS missiles for over 20 years.
“Restarting the TACMS production is excellent news for our customers seeking deep precision fire support,” said Ken Musculus, vice president – Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “This production re-start will yield greater flexibility and significant cost-savings on a program with a rich history of reliability, affordability and mission success.”