GMLRS issues on track to be resolved for FY-25 flight tests after two-year delay

By Nickolai Sukharev / May 22, 2024 at 1:31 PM

The Army is on track to resolve the issues that caused a two-year delay in flight tests for the Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket system, according to a service spokesperson.

Initially planned for fiscal year 2023, the Army pushed back flight tests for the ER-GMLRS to FY-24 and then FY-25 “due to technical issues on the Side Mounted Proximity Sensor,” according to service budget documents.

“The test was postponed from FY-23 to FY-24 to allow mitigation of a Side Mounted Proximity Sensor anomaly,” Darrell Ames, a spokesperson at the program executive office for missile and space programs, wrote in an email to Inside Defense.

Fitted to the ER-GMLRS, a variant with a 150km range, the Side Mounted Proximity Sensor is designed to enable higher height-of-burst when engaging targets spread across an area, according to a 2020 DOT&E report.

“Mitigation and resolution efforts are on track to support planned flight testing,” Ames added.

The Army needed more time to better understand adjustments to the missile, which delayed the critical design review for the GMLRS, Ames' email reads.

Launched from the ground-based Multiple Launch Rocket System and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, the GMLRS is a guided missile designed to hit ground targets.

The GMLRS Enhanced Alternative Warhead variant includes a warhead designed to hit area targets with cluster-like effects while staying in compliance with Defense Department policies and international laws on the use of cluster munitions.

Last month, the Army announced a multiyear contract award for the GMLRS, a move estimated to save $67.6 million, according to a service spokesperson.

The Army plans to spend approximately $20.5 million on the program between FY-25 and FY-27 before increasing the funding to about $42 million by FY-29, the service budget documents add.

Since February 2022, the U.S. has included the GMLRS as part of military aid for Ukraine as the country counters an invasion from Russia.