The company’s production of missile propulsion systems has achieved a new milestone.
Northrop Grumman has delivered the 10,000th Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) to Lockheed Martin’s final assembly facility, based in Camden, Arkansas.
The propulsion system will now be integrated into GMLRS missiles – a free flight rocket designed to engage targets from 13 to 70 kilometres, particularly effective against embedded targets.
This comes amid a spike in demand from the US Army and other DoD services for its GMLRS and related systems.
Northrop Grumman has designed and constructed a purpose-built manufacturing facility at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in Rocket Center to support the uptick in demand, leveraging lean manufacturing and digital engineering techniques.
“Our investment in digital technologies has helped us to more efficiently produce our GMLRS insensitive munitions propulsion systems while increasing weapon safety on the battlefield,” Rebecca Torzone, vice president of missile products at Northrop Grumman, said.
The company’s insensitive munition (IM) compliant propulsion system is built with a solid rocket motor incorporating IM-enhancing technologies and an ignition safety device, designed to improve the weapon system’s safety characteristics.
The resulting IM propulsion system is used to power the US Army’s GMLRS missile.
The announcement of this latest production milestone comes just days after Northrop Grumman secured a US$153 million ($214.5 million) contract for full-rate production (FRP) of lots 10 and 11 of the AGM-88E2 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM).
The contract includes the production of missiles for the US Navy and German Air Force.
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Northrop Grumman has, thus far, produced over 1,500 AARGM missiles for the international co-operative acquisition program with the US Navy and the Italian Air Force.
The missile is designed to provide a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system that enhances legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with next-generation capability.
The technology, used for the suppression and destruction of enemy air defence systems, is tipped to deliver a combination of precision, survivability and lethality, supporting the rapid engagement of land- and sea-based air-defence threats, while also striking time-sensitive targets.