Through a successful Public Private Partnership with Lockheed Martin, the Letterkenny Munitions Center located in Chambersburg, Pa., has aligned with private industry in a way that is changing the way we look at missile production and maintenance. The implementation of the Service Life Extension Program has proven useful through an agreement in which both public and private sector industries are tasked with increasing the lifespan for the Army Tactical Missile System Guided Missile and Launching Assembly. By categorizing and replacing system components that have outlived their usefulness, this cooperative agreement has resulted in both extending the lifespan of existing ordnance and maximizing the effectiveness of the defense appropriations that pay for them.
As the original M39 Block 1 missile systems approach their service life limitations, the SLEP program allows LEMC personnel to label components that are acceptable for continued use or require demilitarization. LEMC then demilitarizes unusable materials and provides the remaining components to a Lockheed Martin facility, where they can replace existing warheads and reuse some Block 1 system components for a new unitary GMLA.
This reintegration process allows for the modernization of existing inventory for the Warfighter by utilizing both new and existing components to build the latest generation ATACMS and allow for preservation of the Army’s only long range precision strike munitions. By reusing the Block 1 hardware in new production builds and eliminating the need to demilitarize otherwise useful portions of the existing ordinance, the SLEP process will lower ATACMS unit price and ensure that critical assets are readily available in the short term.
“Bottom line, we have a responsibility at LEMC to put the best product forward to defend the Warfighter”, said LEMC Commander Lt Colonel Dennis Williams. “Our partnership with Lockheed Martin on ATACMS has not only put the most modern missile system in the world into the hands of our Military, but also done so at the lowest cost possible.”
By identifying strategic partnerships and taking advantage of opportunities to modernize operations, LEMC continues to effectively support the Warfighter by extending the life of existing munitions and eliminating unnecessary costs.