Encyclopedia Astronautica
ATACMS II


American short range ballistic missile. ATACMS Block II is a derivative of the MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System). The Block II designation applies to ATACMS variants designed to deliver the BAT (Brilliant Anti-Tank) guided submunition.

Maximum range: 140 km (80 mi).

Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch

Lockheed-Martin MGM-164 ATACMS II

The MGM-164 ATACMS Block II is a derivative of the MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System). The Block II designation applies to ATACMS variants designed to deliver the BAT (Brilliant Anti-Tank) guided submunition.

As early as 1991, a Block II version of ATACMS was planned, which was to carry the Northrop-Grumman BAT guided submunition. BAT was originally planned as the munition for the MGM-137B, the U.S. Army's version of the TSSAM (Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile), which was cancelled in 1991. The first flight of a modified ATACMS with BAT submunitions occurred in 1995, and the first flight of a proper ATACMS Block II, then designated MGM-140C, succeeded in 1996. Since then the major test and development effort has been to make BAT a reliable submunition. A contract for low-rate initial production of the MGM-140C was finally awarded to Lockheed-Martin in August 2001, and initial operational capability may be achieved in 2002. The production ATACMS Block II has now been redesignated as MGM-164A, possibly because of the slight external differences to the MGM-140 Block I versions.

The MGM-164A has the same inertial-GPS guidance system as the MGM-140B. It carries 13 BAT submunitions in the enlarged warhead section, and range is about 140 km (87 miles). Once released, the BAT uses passive acoustic wingtip sensors for initial target acquisition, and an IIR (Imaging Infrared) sensor for terminal guidance. It is 91 cm (36 in) long, 14 cm (5.5 in) in diameter (wings folded), has a wingspan of 91 cm (36 in), weighs about 20 kg (44 lb), and has a tandem shaped-charge warhead.

The ATACMS Block IIA is an improved Block II, carrying 6 IBAT (Improved BAT) submunitions, also known as P3I BAT (Pre-Planned Product Improvement BAT), over a range of 300 km. The IBAT is equipped with a dual-mode (millimeter-wave active radar and IIR) seeker, and is expected to be operational in 2003. As of February 2002, the ATACMS Block IIA has not yet received a designator in either the MGM-140 or MGM-164 series.

The U.S. Army plans to procure up to 1200 ATACMS Block II-IIA missiles.

Specifications

Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for MGM-164A:

Length 4.0 m (13 ft)
Diameter 0.61 m (24 in)
Finspan 1.4 m (55 in)
Weight 1480 kg (3270 lb)
Ceiling > 50 km (30 miles)
Range 140 km (87 miles)
Propulsion Solid-fueled rocket
Warhead 268 kg (592 lb) (13 BAT submunitions)
Main Sources

[1] Hajime Ozu: "Missile 2000 - Reference Guide to World Missile Systems", Shinkigensha, 2000
[2] Redstone Arsenal Historical Information Website
[3] Lockheed-Martin Missiles and Fire Control Website
[4] Department of Defense Missile Nomenclature Records


AKA: MGM-164.
Status: Active.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...

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