MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System)

An ATACMS being launched by an M270 in 2006.
Type Rocket artillery, tactical ballistic missile
Place of origin United States of America
Service history
Used by United States, South Korea
Wars Gulf War, Iraq War, War in Afghanistan
Production history
Designer Ling-Temco-Vought
Designed 1986
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Number built 3,700[1][2]
Specifications ([3][4])
Weight 1,670 kilograms (3,690 lb)
Length 4.0 metres (13 ft)
Diameter 610 millimetres (24 in)

Maximum firing range 300 km (190 mi)

Wingspan 55 inches (1.4 m)
Flight ceiling 50 km (160,000 ft)[5]
Speed Mach 3 (0.6 mi/s; 1.0 km/s)[5]
GPS-aided inertial navigation guidance
Accuracy tens of meters, depending on model

The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATacMS) is a surface-to-surface missile (SSM) manufactured by Lockheed Martin. It has a range of over 160 kilometres (100 mi), with solid propellant, and is 4.0 metres (13 ft) high and 610 millimetres (24 in) in diameter.

The ATACMS can be fired from multiple rocket launchers, including the M270 MLRS, and 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 Operation Desert Storm, where a total of 32 were fired from the M270 MLRS.[6] During the Operation Iraqi Freedom more than 450 missiles were fired.[7] As of early 2015, over 560 ATACMS missiles had been fired in combat.[1][2]


MGM-140A – Block I

Previously M39,[8] unguided missile contains 950 M74 anti-personnel/anti-materiel (APAM) submunitions with a range of 128 kilometres (80 mi).[9]

MGM-140B – Block IA

Previously M39A1,[8] missile uses GPS/INS guidance, carries 275 M74 submunitions and has a 165 kilometres (103 mi) range.[9][10]

MGM-164 ATacMS – Block II

A Block II variant (initially designated MGM-140C or, previously, M39A3[8]) was designed to carry a payload of 13 Brilliant Anti-Tank (BAT) 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.[11]

MGM-168 ATacMS – Block IVA

Originally designated Block IA Unitary (MGM-140E), the new Block IVA variant substitutes a 230 kilograms (500 lb) 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.[12] The range has been increased to some 300 kilometres (190 mi), limited more by the legal provisions of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) than technical considerations.


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.[13]

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.[1][2] 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.[14][15]

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.[16]

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, out to 500 kilometres (310 mi) (limited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty),[17] 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. One contractor is to be downselected in 2018-19 to begin production in 2021-22.[18][19]


Map with MGM-140 operators in blue

Current operators

See also

Comparable missiles


  1. 1 2 3 U.S. army awards Lockheed Martin $78 million contract for ATACMS guided missile modernization -, 8 January 2015
  2. 1 2 3 Lockheed Martin Tactical Missile System Upgrades -, 8 January 2015
  5. 1 2 Third Offset Breakthrough: U.S. Army Using Existing Technology to Develop 'Warship-Killer' Missiles -, 2 November 2016
  6. [Source, DoD, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War", April 1992, p. 753.]
  7. "Lockheed Martin - Army Tactical Missile System" (PDF). Lockheed Martin. 2006.
  8. 1 2 3 "MGM-140/-164/-168 ATACMS (M39) (United States), Offensive weapons". Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems. Jane's Information Group. Oct 27, 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  9. 1 2 South Korea Goes Long –, October 12, 2012
  10. "Lockheed Martin (LTV) MGM-140 ATACMS". Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  11. "Lockheed Martin MGM-164 ATACMS II". Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  12. "Lockheed Martin MGM-168 ATACMS IVA". Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  13. Capabilities Development for Long Range Precision Fires -, 16 May 2014
  14. Lockheed Martin Delivers First Modernized TACMS Missile to US Army -, 29 September 2016
  15. Precision fires milestone for US Army -, 18 October 2016
  16. Carter, Roper Unveil Army’s New Ship-Killer Missile: ATACMS Upgrade -, 28 October 2016
  17. Freedberg Jr., Sydney J. (26 April 2016). "Winning The Missile Wars: Army & Navy Tech In HASC NDAA". Breaking Media, Inc. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  18. Raytheon to offer new missile design for US Army's Long-Range Precision Fires requirement -, 17 March 2016
  19. Raytheon to help Army develop new long-range artillery rocket for battlefield fire-support -, 16 March 2016
  20. "Bahrain Purchases Lockheed Martin's ATACMS Missiles". Lockheed Martin. 20 December 2000.
  21. "Greece". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  22. 1 2 "Contracts for Thursday, December 23, 2010". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  23. "ROK: Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS)". Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  24. "Turkey". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  25. "Lockheed Martin Successfully Validates ATACMS Missile Long-Term Reliability". Lockheed Martin. 26 February 2009.
  26. "MGM-140A Block 1". Retrieved 6 October 2011.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to ATACMS missiles.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/23/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.