Tennessee Becomes First National Guard Battalion to Field Lockheed Martin's HIMARS Launcher
Dallas, TX, 18-JUL-06 --
The Tennessee National Guard recently became the first National Guard Battalion to field the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), helping the service meet its goal of fielding a lighter, more mobile and more flexible modular force Fires Brigades, while providing the latest warfighting technologies to the Army National Guard.
“We are second to none,” said LTC Stan Coby, commander, 1st Battalion, 181th Field Artillery, Tennessee National Guard. “It took a great deal of coordination with multiple agencies…. We are ready to go!”
The Battalion, under the command of LTC Coby, conducted the certification of its personnel on the HIMARS system by firing 72 rockets in a live-fire exercise at Fort Campbell, KY.
“This ‘on-track for cost and schedule’ HIMARS system brings unprecedented capabilities to the modular force; mobility and precision that Soldiers didn’t have in the past,” said Col. Earnest Harris, HIMARS project manager for Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems. “HIMARS mobility and transportability, coupled with the newest evolution of MLRS family of munitions, brings long-range precision fires, all-weather, near-vertical impact to theater – greatly reducing collateral damage.”
“HIMARS continues to impress everybody with its flawless performance and versatility,” said Dick Moyer, HIMARS program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The HIMARS team has achieved yet another significant milestone. We are very proud to empower the Army National Guard with this C-130 transportable system, which is an integral part of the new modular force’s fires brigade.”
Total joint procurement of the system for the Army and Marine Corps is expected to be more than 900 launchers. HIMARS can accommodate the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) munitions, including all variants of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile and the new Guided MLRS and its unitary variant. Guided MLRS is the next major step in the evolution of the MLRS Family of Munitions, offering advanced capabilities, reduced logistics support and precision attack.
Designed to enable troops to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations, HIMARS can move away from the area at high speed following missile launch, before enemy forces are able to locate the launch site.
Because of its C-130 transportability, HIMARS can be deployed into areas previously inaccessible to heavier launchers. It also incorporates the self-loading, autonomous features that have made MLRS the premier rocket artillery system in the world. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one ATACMS missile. Its fire control system, electronics and communications units are interchangeable with the existing MLRS M270A1 launcher, and the crew and training are the same. HIMARS prototypes were successfully employed in Operations Iraqi Freedom.