The Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block 1A Quick Reaction Unitary Missile gets even more accurate
July 20, 2005 The US Army order an extra 106 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block 1A Quick Reaction Unitary missiles earlier this week, significantly upgrading its surface-to-surface missile arsenal. At US$745,000 each, they aren’t cheap, but the recently upgrade guidance, control and fuze system on these missiles is very special – they can take out a target (5.7MB video) with surgical accuracy at a range of 300 kilometres while almost completely eliminating collateral damage. ATACMS is the only long-range tactical surface-to-surface missile ever fired in combat by the U.S. Army. The ATACMS Block IA Unitary is a derivative of the ATACMS Block IA tactical ballistic missile, with the M74 submunitions replaced by a monolithic 500-pound warhead. This warhead reduces collateral damage likelihood and makes it particularly suitable to attack hardened targets such as fortifications and bunkers. When used in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, it destroyed or rendered inoperable every target it engaged. The new model with improved guidance is capable of flying over obstacles, such as mountains or tall buildings in a built-up area, then diving vertically to more accurately engage its high-payoff, time-sensitive targets.