Harris Corporation awarded $22 million rocket contract

Lockheed Martin has awarded Harris Corporation $22 million to produce electronics for the Improved Fire Control System used in two US Army rocket launcher systems.

Harris Corporation has been awarded a $22 million contract by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control for production of electronics for the Improved Fire Control System (IFCS) used in the US Army’s Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270A1 and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers.

The contract is a follow-on to a series of IFCS program contract awards that began in 1992, which now total nearly $170 million. Further production and retrofit awards could increase the overall contract value for Harris to $500 million by 2016.

Under terms of this sixth production lot contract, Harris will provide three Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) consisting of the Launcher Interface Unit, Power Switching Unit, and Weapon Interface Unit. In addition to improving accuracy, speed and reliability, the IFCS also increases the types of munitions that the MLRS can fire.

According to Harris Corporation, the MLRS M270A1 is a combat-proven, self-contained, highly mobile artillery weapon currently capable of deploying 12 surface-to-surface rockets or two Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles. The HIMARS, currently in full-scale development, is a wheeled version of the MLRS that is capable of firing six surface-to-surface rockets or one ATACMS. The rockets of both vehicles can be fired individually or in ripple-fashion using the new automated fire control system.

Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the MLRS, announced in March that it signed a contract with the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) to produce the MLRS M270A1 launchers. Delivery of the launchers, complete with the improved fire control equipment provided by Harris, is expected to take place in calendar year 2004.