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Eurosatory 2024: Debut of the GMARS Multiple Rocket Launcher System

During the Eurosatory 2024 trade fair in Paris, the German group Rheinmetall AG, in collaboration with the American company Lockheed Martin, showcased the prototype of the GMARS multiple rocket launcher system that was announced last year.

At the Eurosatory 2024 trade fair, held from June 17-21 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, the German group Rheinmetall AG, in collaboration with the American company Lockheed Martin, showcased the prototype of the GMARS (Global Mobile Artillery Rocket System) multiple rocket launcher system that was announced last year.

Photos: Jakub Link-Lenczowski, MILMAG

On June 23, 2023, the industry portal Defense News was the first to report that the American company Lockheed Martin and the German group Rheinmetall AG want to jointly offer the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) the new GMARS multiple rocket launcher system. This system features twice the firepower of the M142 HIMARS and is mounted on the wheeled RMMV HX2 8×8 chassis.

The new system is intended to replace the German MARS-II/MLRS-E systems on tracked chassis, which are the European variant of the American M270 MLRS launcher. Germany aims to have ten field artillery batteries, both tube and rocket, by 2035, along with three Dutch batteries that would be deeply integrated with the German ones. This includes three rocket artillery batteries, each with 12 launchers, as part of the Zukünftiges System Indirektes Feuer mittlerer Reichweite program.

The German Federal Ministry of Defense had already been conducting preliminary talks with Rheinmetall AG and Lockheed Martin to find a solution to succeed the MARS-II/MLRS-E systems, some of which were transferred to Ukraine (5 systems, including 3 in July 2022 and 2 in October 2022), while the rest are aging and need replacement (34 launchers). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two companies on this matter was signed in April 2023.

The GMARS concept involves using a dual launcher system, similar to the MARS-II/MLRS-E or M270 MLRS, but on a wheeled chassis, analogous to the South Korean K239 Chunmoo and its Polish version Homar-K on the Jelcz P882.57 TS T45 K-MLRS 8×8 chassis.

The offer to the Bundeswehr features the heavy RMMV HX2 wheeled chassis in an 8×8 drive configuration with an armored cabin, a flagship product of Rheinmetall AG. In its travel configuration, the GMARS measures 9.8 meters in length (for comparison, the M142 HIMARS is about 7 meters long), 2.5 meters in width, and 3.9 meters in height. The empty weight is 31.14 tons, while the combat weight with loaded ammunition is expected to be below 40 tons. The vehicle can accelerate to a maximum speed of 100 km/h on paved roads, with a driving range of up to 700 km.

The crew consists of two soldiers (with an optional increase to three). The system allows for immediate firing without the need for additional stabilizing jacks. The Boom & Hoist system enables safe and quick reloading of ammunition packages in all weather conditions.

The chassis would be produced at the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles joint venture plant in Vienna, the launchers at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Camden, Arkansas, and the final assembly of GMARS at selected Rheinmetall AG plants in Germany.

Last year, it was reported that for further industrial partnership, Lockheed Martin believes that the German company Diehl Defence could supply warheads for the missiles, along with American components, while Rheinmetall AG is interested in providing rocket engines.

According to the latest information, GMARS is set to use ATACMS ballistic missiles with a range of 300 km and their successors, the PrSM missiles, with a range of over 400 km, as well as guided missiles from the GMLRS family with a range of over 70 km and the extended range ER GMLRS up to 150 km. Further plans include integration with a new cruise missile with a range of over 370 km (likely, according to media reports, a land-based variant of the NSM missile) and unguided 122 mm rockets with a range of 22 km. A single container can hold one ATACMS missile, two PrSM missiles, or six GMLRS rockets. GMARS uses the same fire control system as HIMARS, enabling interoperability with other artillery systems within the ASCA convention.

Źródło: Rheinmetall AG


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