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France requests GMLRS rocket launchers

WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) — State Department officials this week approved the potential $90 million sale of a number of advanced, long-range rocket launchers to the French military.

France is requesting 21 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, or GMLRS, through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its {link:required notification to Congress.
: “http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/france-guided-multiple-launch-rocket-system-gmlrs-unitary-rocket-pods-and-related” target=”_blank”}

Along with the Lockheed Martin-built rocket launchers, French forces would also receive “live fire data, software updates, and technical assistance” as well as personnel support from a dedicated GMLRS “quality assurance team,” according to the notice, issued on Tuesday.

The launchers will be pulled from the U.S. Army’s existing stock and will not require a new procurement contract between France and Lockheed Martin.

France is also a co-developer of the GMLRS system and French military leaders already have a slate of operational requirements for the system.

“This proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally,” agency officials wrote in the notice.

“France will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. . . [and] the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the added.

The GMLRS fires surface-to-surface rockets and the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, and can fire up to 12 rockets within 60 seconds.

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