The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATacMS) is a surface-to-surface missile (SSM) manufactured by the U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin. It has a range of over 100 miles (160 km), with solid propellant, and is 13 feet (4.0 m) high and 24 inches (610 mm) in diameter.
|MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System)|
An ATACMS being launched by an M270 in 2006
|Type||Rocket artillery and tactical ballistic missile|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Wars||Persian Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, Iraq War|
|Mass||3,690 pounds (1,670 kg)|
|Length||13 feet (4.0 m)|
|Diameter||24 inches (610 mm)|
|Maximum firing range||190 mi (300 km)|
|Wingspan||55 inches (1.4 m)|
|Flight ceiling||160,000 ft (50 km)|
|Speed||In excess of Mach 3 (0.6 mi/s; 1.0 km/s)|
|GPS-aided inertial navigation guidance|
The ATACMS can be fired from multiple rocket launchers, including the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). An ATACMS launch container has a lid patterned with six circles like a standard MLRS rocket lid.
The first use of the ATACMS in a combat capability was during the Persian Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm, where a total of 32 were fired from the M270 MLRS. During the Iraq War's Operation Iraqi Freedom more than 450 missiles were fired. As of early 2015, over 560 ATACMS missiles had been fired in combat.
MGM-140A – Block I
Previously M39, INS guided missile contains 950 M74 anti-personnel/anti-materiel (APAM) submunitions (4.275 kg) with a range of 80 miles (128 km).. The M39 had half the explosives of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (warhead 8.500 kg).
MGM-140B – Block IA
Previously M39A1, missile adds GPS guidance, carries 275 M74 submunitions and has a 103 miles (165 km) range.. The M39A1 had 1237kg of M74 bombs, less than 1/6 the explosives of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (which is 11 ton TNT equivalent).
MGM-164 ATacMS – Block II
A Block II variant (initially designated MGM-140C or, previously, M39A3) was designed to carry a payload of 13 Brilliant Anti-Tank munitions manufactured by Northrop Grumman. However, in late 2003 the U.S. Army terminated the funding for the BAT-equipped ATACMS and therefore the MGM-164A never became fully operational.
MGM-168 ATacMS – Block IVA
Originally designated Block IA Unitary (MGM-140E), the new Block IVA variant substitutes a 500 pounds (230 kg) unitary HE warhead for M74 bomblets. It uses the same GPS/INS guidance as the MGM-140B. The development contract was placed in December 2000, and flight-testing began in April 2001. The first production contract was awarded in March 2002. The range has been increased to some 190 miles (300 km), limited more by the legal provisions of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) than technical considerations.
In 2007, the Army terminated the ATACMS program due to cost, ending the ability to replenish stocks. To sustain the remaining inventory, the ATACMS Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) was launched, which refurbishes or replaces propulsion and navigation systems, replaces cluster munition warheads with the unitary blast fragmentation warhead, and adds a proximity fuze option to obtain area effects; deliveries are projected to start in 2018. The ATACMS SLEP is a bridging initiative to provide time to complete analysis and development of a successor capability to the aging ATACMS stockpile, which could be ready around 2022.
In January 2015, Lockheed Martin received a contract to develop and test new hardware for Block I ATACMS missiles to eliminate the risk of unexploded ordnance by 2016. The first modernized Tactical Missile System (TACMS) was delivered on 28 September 2016 with updated guidance electronics and added capability to defeat area targets using a unitary warhead without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. Lockheed was awarded a production contract for launch assemblies as part of the SLEP on 2 August 2017.
In March 2016, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon announced they would offer a missile to meet the U.S. Army's Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) requirement to replace the ATACMS. The missile will use advanced propulsion to fly faster and further (originally out to 310 miles (500 km)) while also being thinner and sleeker, increasing loadout to two per pod, doubling the number able to be carried by M270 MLRS and M142 HIMARS launchers. Lockheed and Raytheon will test-fire their submissions for the renamed Precision Strike Missile (PRSM) program in 2019, with the selected weapon planned to achieve Initial Operational Capability in 2023; the initial PRSM will only be able to hit stationary targets on land, but later versions will track moving targets on land and sea. With the United States withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the range of the PRSM will be increased beyond the '499 km' limitation previously placed upon it by the treaty.
Bahrain: Royal Bahraini Army Greece: Hellenic Army is also a known user of the ATACMS. South Korea: In 2002, the South Korean Army purchased 111 ATACMS Block I and 110 ATACMS Block IA missiles, which were deployed in 2004. An affiliated company of the Hanwha Group of Korea produces munitions for the missile systems under license from Lockheed Martin. Turkey: Turkish Army is also a known user of the ATACMS. United Arab Emirates: United Arab Emirates Army. On 20 December 2010, Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract for $916 million for 226 'tactical missiles' and 24 launcher modification kits for the UAE United States: United States Army and United States Marine Corps
Finland: Finnish order of 70 missiles was cancelled March 2014
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to ATACMS missiles.|
- ATACMS Long-Range Precision Tactical Missile System Lockheed Martin (2011)
- Army Tactical Missile System Block IA Unitary Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- Rogers III, Henry T. (16 Jun 2006). "Army Tactical Missile System and Fixed-Wing Aircraft Capabilities in the Joint Time Sensitive Targeting Process". Master thesis. US Army Command and General Staff College. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Precision Guided Missiles and Rockets Program Review U.S. Defense Technical Information Center (14 April 2008).
- ATACMS / ATACMS Block IA Unitary Deagel.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- M39 ATMS GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- M39 Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS) Federation of American Scientists | FAS.org. Retrieved 6 October 2011.