The Army has given the greenlight to Lockheed Martin to produce an extended-range version of its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, according to the company and the service.

Lockheed was awarded a $200 million fiscal 2024 contract modification in May to build as many as 240 extended range GMLRS. The funding includes production, tooling and depot spares, an Army spokesman told Defense News in a June 26 statement.

The Army made the decision to cut GMLRS ER into Lockheed’s production line in Camden, Arkansas, in January, according to a Lockheed spokesperson.

GMLRS ER has had multiple successful flight tests leading up to the production decision. The extended range version can reach 150-plus kilometers compared to the 70-kilometer range capability of GMLRS.

The company won a $4.8 billion deal for GMLRS in 2023 as the U.S. adjusted its production numbers to replenish rockets sent to Ukraine.

The U.S. has been providing GMLRS, along with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers used to fire them, to Ukraine since mid-2022 to help it fend off Russia’s invasion.

The service plans to ramp up GMLRS production from 6,000 rockets a year to 14,000 and expects to sign a multiyear deal for them in FY24, thanks to a new congressional authority. Multiyear contracts, usually reserved for expensive and large programs, provide longer-term certainty that can lower the cost.

The service is also expected to spend $1.2 billion in FY25 to buy 6,408 missiles as part of the anticipated multiyear contract, according to the Army’s FY25 budget request.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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