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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

Wingspan 55 inches (1.4 m)
Flight ceiling 30 miles (160,000 ft; 48 km)
GPS aided inertial guidance
Accuracy Guided

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.[5] During the Operation Iraqi Freedom more than 450 missiles were fired.[6] As of early 2015, over 560 ATACMS missiles had been fired in combat.[1][2]

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.[7]


MGM-140A – Block I[edit]

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[edit]

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

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]

MGM-164 ATacMS – Block II[edit]

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[edit]

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.


See also[edit]

Comparable missiles[edit]


  1. ^ a b c U.S. army awards Lockheed Martin $78 million contract for ATACMS guided missile modernization -, 8 January 2015
  2. ^ a b c Lockheed Martin Tactical Missile System Upgrades -, 8 January 2015
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ [Source, DoD, Conduct of the Persian Gulf War", April 1992, p. 753.]
  6. ^ "Lockheed Martin - Army Tactical Missile System" (PDF). Lockheed Martin. 2006. 
  7. ^ Capabilities Development for Long Range Precision Fires -, 16 May 2014
  8. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b 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. ^ "Bahrain Purchases Lockheed Martin's ATACMS Missiles". Lockheed Martin. 20 December 2000. 
  14. ^ "Greece". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Contracts for Thursday, December 23, 2010". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "ROK: Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS)". Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Turkey". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Lockheed Martin Successfully Validates ATACMS Missile Long-Term Reliability". Lockheed Martin. 26 February 2009. 
  19. ^ "MGM-140A Block 1". Retrieved 6 October 2011. 

External links[edit]