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16 Apr 08. Lockheed Martin successfully launched an ATACMS Unitary missile from a HIMARS launcher equipped with a Universal Fire Control System (UFCS) during a flight test on March 20 at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The missile flew the planned trajectory and hit the target, which was at a range of approximately 75 km.

This was the second Follow-on Production Test of the new ATACMS Unitary configuration that allows Warfighters to use the missile in a vertical attack trajectory, an essential new capability for urban environments where low collateral damage is desired. It also was the first firing of an ATACMS munition from a HIMARS launcher equipped with a UFCS.
The UFCS is an evolutionary block upgrade and technology refresh of the MLRS Fire Control System. UFCS recently completed its Development and Qualification Program, and is now being delivered under the HIMARS full-rate production program.

“ATACMS is the weapon of choice against time-sensitive and pre-planned targets for U.S. Forces in the Global War on Terror,” said Jim Gribschaw, director of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The successful flight test of this ATACMS Unitary configuration further validates that the system will continue to be an asset to our Warfighters in the future. The incredible precision engagement capability of ATACMS allows commanders engage a target with little or no collateral damage.”

This flight test provided a wealth of technical data to support the quality of the ATACMS improved Unitary configuration production. It also demonstrated the missile-to-launcher interface of the new UFCS, missile performance and accuracy from launch to impact, as well as the performance of the whole system software.
ATACMS is a long-range guided missile that gives operational commanders the immediate firepower to win the deep battle. Each ATACMS missile is packaged in a MLRS launch pod and is fired from the MLRS Family of Launchers. ATACMS is successfully employed in both urban and non-urban environments.

During Operation Desert Storm, ATACMS became the first tactical surface-to-surface missile ever fired in combat by the U.S. Army. ATACMS is a combat-proven evolutionary family of missiles that also scored numerous successes again in Operation Iraqi Freedom, during which 456 missiles were fired.

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