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8 septembre 2011 4 08 /09 /septembre /2011 17:50


source defense.gouv.fr


8 Sep 2011 By PIERRE TRAN DefenseNews


PARIS - France has opted for a European fire-control system led by a German company over Lockheed Martin's rival offer, as part of a contract to upgrade the French Army's artillery with guided ground rocket launchers.


"The contract for the modification of the 13 French LRM into LRU was awarded to the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann company, at the head of a Franco-German industrial group including Thales, Cassidian (the EADS group) and Sagem (the Safran group)," a statement from the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) procurement office said Sept. 8


Lockheed Martin makes the M31 guided rocket for the Guided Multiple Rocket Launcher System (GMLRS), known in French as the Lance Roquette Unitaire (LRU). The LRU is a conversion of the unguided Multiple Rocket Launcher System, or LRM in French, into a precision weapon.


"The Direction Générale de l'Armement has asked Sept. 8 the German defense ministry's BWB armaments agency to order 13 LRU," the DGA statement said.


Lockheed Martin had pitched its Universal Fire Control System against the European Fire Control System proposed by the group led by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.


A DGA spokesman declined to give price information on the order.


Lockheed Martin ordered a first batch of 258 rocket motors in December 2010 from Roxel, the Anglo-French missile propulsion company, for the M31 rocket, in anticipation of the LRU contract.


From 2008-2009, the DGA ordered 264 of the M31 rockets, which are due for delivery in 2013, the DGA said.


First delivery of the LRU system to the French Army is scheduled for 2014.


The French LRU acquisition is being done in conjunction with Germany and Italy, which bought the GMLRS in the 1990s. The conversion of the unguided GMLRS artillery follows the signing of the Oslo agreement on banning the use of cluster submunitions.


The LRU is designed to deliver accuracy to within one meter of target in day and night, at ranges up to 70 kilometers.


Roxel expects further orders for LRU rocket motors, built under license from Aerojet. The LRU system was bought under a memorandum of understanding signed by Britain, Germany, France, Italy and the United States.

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