LTV'S EXTENDED RANGE M77 ROCKET FOR MLRS REACHES TARGET AREA IN FIRST FLIGHT TEST
LTV'S EXTENDED RANGE M77 ROCKET FOR MLRS REACHES
TARGET AREA IN FIRST FLIGHT TEST
DALLAS, Nov. 22, /PRNewswire/ -- The first flight test of an extended range rocket for the Multiple Launch Rocket System has successfully demonstrated a significantly greater target range than the M77 rocket currently used by the U.S. Army.
The new rocket, designated XR-M77, achieved an equivalent sea-level range of 46 kilometers in a Nov. 21 flight test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The current MLRS rocket has a comparable range of 32 kilometers.
The Missiles Division of LTV Aerospace and Defense Company began work on the Extended Range MLRS program in February as reports began to filter in about Iraqi artillery outranging Coalition Forces' artillery in Operation Desert Storm.
"The Extended Range MLRS definitely evolved from Desert Storm experience," said Wilbur Cummings, Missiles Division, vice president, MLRS programs. "Artillerymen said the MLRS worked beautifully but they'd like to have more range."
MLRS, which earned the reputation as the most devastating artillery system deployed in Desert Storm, is a highly mobile automatic rocket system.
It permits a crew of three to accurately shoot a complete 12-rocket load, quickly reload and fire again.
MLRS' 12 rockets can cover 30 to 60 acres with nearly 8,000 grenade- like submunitions, delivering more than two tons of destructive firepower on a target in less than one minute.
To achieve the additional range, the existing MLRS warhead was shortened and the rocket motor stretched. The XR-M77 rocket is slightly lighter and uses the same rocket pod container and launcher as the current MLRS. The additional motor length accommodates more propellant, thereby increasing range.
LTV and its subcontractors have invested almost $1.5 million in the XR-M77 program. Atlantic Research Corporation contributed by modifying the current MLRS rocket motor. KDI Precision Products provided the fuze, and Ensign Bickford Company adjusted the center core burster which disperses the M77 submunitions.
The test rockets, which utilize inert grenades, were assembled at LTV's Camden, Ark., operation. The XR-M77 rocket motors and warhead skins were fabricated from standard MLRS hardware. The skins were shortened, and parts of two motorcases were welded together to form each of the longer cases.
The first 12 prototype rockets were completed and shipped to the White Sands range for flight testing. The first test was a single rocket firing to gain ballistic data on the new rocket system. The single firing maximizes the amount of performance data collected.
LTV Aerospace and Defense manufactures missiles, rockets and space systems; military vehicles; and subassemblies for military and commercial aircraft. The 20th largest defense contractor in the United States, it is a subsidiary of The LTV Corporation, a Dallas-based diversified manufacturing company also involved in steel and energy products.
/CONTACT: Debbie DeLoach of LTV Aerospace and Defense, 214-266-1615/
(LTV) CO: LTV Aerospace and Defense Company ST: Texas IN: ARO SU: SM -- NY037 -- 6356 11/22/91 11:51 EST