On Wednesday, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) announced the receipt of a $197-million award from the U.S. Army, which is exercising an "option" to purchase more Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) pursuant to a contract originally signed back in July 2012.
Despite the name, GMLRS is not an actual rocket launcher (the launchers are either High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) or else M270A1s -- both also built by Lockheed). Rather, GMLRS are unitary munitions fired from the launchers. To date, Lockheed says it has produced in excess of 20,000 GMLRS rockets for various customers.
Lockheed describes the GMLRS as an "all-weather, long-range rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons." Brochures for the weapon note that a GMLRS rocket has a range of approximately 70 kilometers, is guided to its target by use of GPS, and includes a 196-pound warhead. The rockets are delivered in "pods" of six unitary rockets apiece, to be fired from the launcher.
Lockheed's latest contract, for Production Lot 7 of the GMLRS, is now worth a total of $550.8 million to Lockheed. Delivery of the newly-optioned rockets is scheduled to begin in September 2014.
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