Some MLRS crews are making a big mistake during operations. They’re selecting the OVERRIDE Programmable Function Key (PFK) when a warning is displayed on the Gunner Display Unit (GDU) without first verifying the fault.
Selecting the OVERRIDE PFK allows the system to bypass the warning and continue with the task that was selected if there’s a fault. For example, if the boom IN LIMIT switch or the wiring has a fault, the GDU will allow you to bypass the fault and continue the mission.
The examples that follow will show how verification should come before selecting OVERRIDE:
The W19 and W420 cables are connected to the rocket pods. Before elevation, they must be disconnected and stowed on the dummy jacks.
Cables connected to rocket pods
Cables stowed on the dummy jacks
If the cables are still connected to the rocket pods, there will be a warning on the GDU and a tone. When this happens, verify the fault before selecting OVERRIDE.
The cables will be damaged if still connected to the rocket pods and are costly to replace. The W19 cable, NSN 6150-01-106-8668, is $1457, and the W420 cable, NSN 6150-01-512-0888, is $6377. Not to mention the NMC time on the system.
During maintenance, when it’s time to stow the system, make sure the jury struts aren’t installed. If the struts haven’t been removed, there will be a caution on the GDU and a tone. If you OVERRIDE the caution you can damage the elevation system.
Before choosing OVERRIDE, check to see if the struts are removed.
During stow operations, make sure the booms are retracted. If not, you’ll receive a message on the GDU and a tone. Again, retract the booms before choosing the OVERRIDE option. If the boom is still extended, the outcome can be catastrophic. The extended booms will hit the cab and cause damage to it, as well as damaging the boom system and possibly also the RP platform (sponsons).
There’s a latch to lock the rocket pods in place. If it’s not latched during a fire mission, there will be a message on the GDU and a tone. Take the time to verify the latch position before selecting OVERRIDE or the pod could be ejected from the launcher.
Latch in lock position
If the rocket pods are latched and the crew attempts to raise the pods, there’s going to be a warning as well. If the latch isn’t unlatched, then damage to rocket pod or hoist system will occur.
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Crew members must follow the operator instructions for reloading in WP 45 of TM 9-1055-647-13&P (Mar 19). There’s a time to use OVERRIDE, but only after you make sure it’s a faulty reading, not human error.
CW4 Jose Figueroa
SFC Darrin Woods
Pablo Merel, Missile LAR
Editor’s note: These are some good tips, gentlemen. MLRS crews, remember to verify any and all faults before you override!