by David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
The U.S. Army is so satisfied with the performance of the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS a.k.a. G-MLRS) in the theater(s) of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan that they’ve placed a $5.17B ("B" is for "Billion) order for the system. The M30 Guided Unitary Rocket reportedly weighs approx. 250 lbs and has a range of up to 70 kilometers. Because if the system’s high level of accuracy at that range, the G-MLRS has been nicknamed the "70-Kilometer Sniper Rifle" by combat troops/warfighters.
"Guided MLRS has revolutionized the the role of field artillery into the urban fight," said Col. Gary Kinne, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager for Rocket and Missile Systems, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. "We can now…
take a rocket , shoot it up to 70 kilometers, and put it precisely on a target while reducing collateral damage. We are able to employ this munition in relatively close proximity to where we are operating,"
DefenseNews reports that as of January 14, 2008, 550 GMLRS rockets had been fired in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to U.S. Army Col. Dave Rice, PM Precision Fires, Rockets and Missiles, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, there will be a future initiative to replace the 404-dual purpose grenades in typical GMLRS rocket warheads with kinetic-energy rods, since "extensive analysis found the kinetic energy rods seem to get the same effects on targets while eliminating unexploded ordnance on the battlefield," Rice said.