Tuesday, January 19, 2016

JBLM to conduct test firing of HIMARS RRPR in March

JBLM announced today it plans to conduct test firing of up to 27 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Reduced Range Practice Rockets (RRPR) over a three-day period at JBLM during the week of March 14-18 to measure the noise from the rocket firing.

In March 2015, JBLM initiated an Environmental Assessment (EA) to measure the level of noise that would be created by a field artillery unit executing the RRPR test firing. Today, the JBLM Garrison Commander signed the Finding of No Significant Impact for the EA entitled “Noise Assessment for Test Launches of the Reduced Ranged Practice Rocket at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.”

“I have decided that the information and data we will obtain from a series of test firing of the RRPR at JBLM is valuable enough to authorize this action to move forward,” said, Col. Daniel S. Morgan, JBLM garrison commander.

During the proposed test firing, a HIMARS battery will fire up to nine RRPR a day — one at a time — for three days.

The RRPR would be fired in the morning, afternoon, and evening each day from the Hayes Hill firing point southeast into JBLM’s Lewis-Main Artillery Impact Area. The firing point is located about a half-mile east of I-5; and north of I-5 exit 114.

The exact firing dates and times will be publicized prior to the test firings.
JBLM will host an open house to explain the test firing and noise monitoring process prior to the scheduled live firing dates.

RRPR Characteristics: Reduced range rockets (RRPRs) have a range of 5-9 miles and they do not carry any explosives. The rockets reach supersonic velocity in about one second and remain supersonic for about 3.7 miles. The rockets will hit their targets in about 5-6 seconds. For the JBLM test firings the rockets will fly at an altitude of 1,300 feet. RRPRs are unarmed, blunt-nose, high-drag rockets. All fuel is expended within 2-3 seconds after launch, so the rocket will be an empty shell on impact.

Anticipated Noise Level: Noise levels directly under the rockets’ flight path may exceed 140 decibels. Sonic booms may occur. For the RRPR test firing, noise monitoring equipment will be strategically placed around the rockets’ flight path. Noise data from these devices will be gathered to assess the rocket noise throughout the testing region. If noise levels exceed an average of 130 decibels a day (e.g., based on the average noise level of nine rockets) at any monitoring station then stopping the tests will be considered.

The EA and FNSI will be available HERE.

No comments: