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MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System)
ATACMSMay2006.jpg
An ATACMS being launched by an M270 in 2006
Type Rocket artillery and tactical ballistic missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1991–present[1]
Used by *United States
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
Wars Persian Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, Iraq War
Production history
Designer Ling-Temco-Vought
Designed 1986
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Number built 3,700[2][3]
Specifications ([5][6])
Weight 3,690 pounds (1,670 kg)
Length 13 feet (4.0 m)
Diameter 24 inches (610 mm)

Maximum range 190 mi (300 km)

Wingspan 55 inches (1.4 m)
Flight ceiling 160,000 ft (50 km)[4]
Speed In excess of Mach 3 (0.6 mi/s; 1.0 km/s)[4]
Guidance
system
GPS-aided inertial navigation guidance
Launch
platform
M270, HIMARS

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.

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.[7] During the Iraq War's Operation Iraqi Freedom more than 450 missiles were fired.[8] As of early 2015, over 560 ATACMS missiles had been fired in combat.[2][3]

Variants[edit | edit source]

MGM-140A – Block I[edit | edit source]

Previously M39,[9] INS guided missile contains 950 M74 anti-personnel/anti-materiel (APAM) submunitions (4.275 kg) with a range of 80 miles (128 km).[10][11] The M39 had half the explosives of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (warhead 8.500 kg).

MGM-140B – Block IA[edit | edit source]

Previously M39A1,[9] missile adds GPS guidance, carries 275 M74 submunitions and has a 103 miles (165 km) range.[10][11] 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[edit | edit source]

A Block II variant (initially designated MGM-140C or, previously, M39A3[9]) 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.[12]

MGM-168 ATacMS – Block IVA[edit | edit source]

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.[13] 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.

Future[edit | edit source]

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.[14]

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.[2][3] 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.[15][16] Lockheed was awarded a production contract for launch assemblies as part of the SLEP on 2 August 2017.[17]

In October 2016, it was revealed that the ATACMS would be upgraded with an existing seeker to enable it to strike moving targets on land and at sea.[18]

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))[19] 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.[20][21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

Operators[edit | edit source]

Map with MGM-140 operators in blue

Current operators[edit | edit source]

Future operators[edit | edit source]

Cancelled orders[edit | edit source]

  •  Finland: Finnish order of 70 missiles was cancelled March 2014[32]

See also[edit | edit source]

Comparable missiles[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "MGM-140 ATACMS". http://www.military-today.com/missiles/atacms.htm. Retrieved 15 October 2018. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 U.S. army awards Lockheed Martin $78 million contract for ATACMS guided missile modernization Archived 2015-01-17 at the Wayback Machine. - Armyrecognition.com, 8 January 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lockheed Martin Tactical Missile System Upgrades Archived 2015-01-17 at the Wayback Machine. - Armedforces-Int.com, 8 January 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 Third Offset Breakthrough: U.S. Army Using Existing Technology to Develop 'Warship-Killer' Missiles - Nationalinterest.org, 2 November 2016
  5. "Wayback Machine". 30 July 2013. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20130730102941/http://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed/data/mfc/pc/atacms-block-1a-unitary/mfc-atacms-block-1a-unitary-pc.pdf. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  6. "Lockheed Martin MGM-140 ATACMS". 2006-09-19. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-140.html. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  7. [Source, DoD, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, April 1992, p. 753.]
  8. "Lockheed Martin - Army Tactical Missile System". Lockheed Martin. 2006. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. https://web.archive.org/web/20110927134611/http://www.lockheedmartin.com/data/assets/12818.pdf. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "MGM-140/-164/-168 ATACMS (M39) (United States), Offensive weapons". Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems. Jane's Information Group. Oct 27, 2011. http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Strategic-Weapon-Systems/MGM-140164168-ATACMS-M39-United-States.html. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 South Korea Goes Long – Strategypage.com, October 12, 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Lockheed Martin (LTV) MGM-140 ATACMS". Designation-Systems.net. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-140.html. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  12. "Lockheed Martin MGM-164 ATACMS II". Designation-Systems.net. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-164.html. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  13. "Lockheed Martin MGM-168 ATACMS IVA". Designation-Systems.net. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-168.html. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  14. Capabilities Development for Long Range Precision Fires Archived 2015-03-21 at the Wayback Machine. - ARCIC.Army.mil, 16 May 2014
  15. Lockheed Martin Delivers First Modernized TACMS Missile to US Army - Armyrecognition.com, 29 September 2016
  16. Precision fires milestone for US Army - Military1.com, 18 October 2016
  17. Lockheed Martin contracted to provide new launch system for the ATACMS missile - Armyrecognition.com, 4 August 2017
  18. Carter, Roper Unveil Army’s New Ship-Killer Missile: ATACMS Upgrade - Breakingdefense.com, 28 October 2016
  19. Freedberg Jr., Sydney J. (26 April 2016). "Winning The Missile Wars: Army & Navy Tech In HASC NDAA". Breaking Media, Inc.. http://breakingdefense.com/2016/04/winning-the-missile-wars-army-navy-tech-in-hasc-ndaa/. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  20. Raytheon to offer new missile design for US Army's Long-Range Precision Fires requirement - Armyrecognition.com, 17 March 2016
  21. Raytheon to help Army develop new long-range artillery rocket for battlefield fire-support - Militaryaerospace.com, 16 March 2016
  22. Army Will Field 100 Km Cannon, 500 Km Missiles: LRPF CFT. Breaking Defense. 23 March 2018.
  23. Army to Extend Range of Precision Strike Missile. National Defense Magazine. 16 October 2019.
  24. "Bahrain Purchases Lockheed Martin's ATACMS Missiles". Lockheed Martin. 20 December 2000. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20120112011513/http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2000/BahrainPurchasesLockheedMartinSATAC.html. 
  25. "Greece". Lockheed Martin. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20120222100311/http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/who-we-are/global/greece.html. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  26. "ROK: Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS)". GlobalSecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/rok/atacms.htm. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  27. "Turkey". Lockheed Martin. http://www.lockheedmartin.com/europe/turkey/. Retrieved 6 October 2011. [dead link]
  28. "Lockheed Martin Successfully Validates ATACMS Missile Long-Term Reliability". Lockheed Martin. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20101213081335/http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2009/MFC_022609_LockheedMartinsSuccessfully.html. 
  29. "MGM-140A Block 1". MissileThreat.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20111014054513/http://missilethreat.com/missilesoftheworld/id.73/missile_detail.asp. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  30. "Contracts for June 24, 2019". US Department of Defense. 24 June 2019. https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1885753/. 
  31. "Contracts for June 24, 2019". US Department of Defense. 24 June 2019. https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1885753/. 
  32. "Long Reach: Finlands Long-Range Rocket Launchers". http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/long-reach-finlands-gps-guided-rocket-launchers-07420/. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 

External links[edit | edit source]


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