The US Army has successfully flown a new guided version of the Lockheed Martin Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The Guided MLRS rocket, equipped with a mass simulator in lieu of a guidance package, flew a ballistic trajectory and achieved all test objectives, says Lockheed Martin. The test was designed to evaluate components of the rocket in flight, including the motor.

Guided MLRS is a collaboration between the USA, the UK, France, Germany and Italy. It integrates a global positioning system-aided inertial guidance package with an extended-range rocket body. Small canards on the rocket nose enable basic manoeuvrability, enhancing accuracy. The Guided MLRS is designed to engage targets at ranges up to 60km. Initial fielding of the system is expected in 2004.

In early 2000, development of MSTAR (MLRS Smart Tactical Rocket) was shelved because of funding constraints.

Source: Flight International