Alternative warhead clears final engineering test

The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead developed by ATK cleared its third and final test flight at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Tuesday.

Three GMLRS rockets were launched during the short-range test, and each reached its grounded target approximately 17 kilometers away.

The test on Tuesday was the last the alternative warhead program will undergo in the engineering phase. The new weapons system will now proceed to the qualifications testing phase.

"This milestone is significant because it enables us to move on to the next phase of testing," GMLRS Program Director Wayne Wilson said. "Our goal is to ensure that the GMLRS program continues to meet the evolving requirements defined by our customer."

The Alternative Warhead Program is being developed to meet standards outlined by the U.S. Department of Defense, which seeks to create a GMLRS-designed rocket that does not present the same danger of unexploded ordinances as previous iterations.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $79.4 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop the AWP. Lockheed Martin then subcontracted with ATK to complete the project.

The contract calls for the engineering and development phase of the project to last 36 months.

The project is focused on improving performance, qualifications and producibility of the AWP.

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