The news comes as Western nations and NATO members increase defence spending in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. NATO members pledged to continue to support Ukraine during a summit in Madrid last month, with many members supplying much-needed military equipment to help defences against Russian forces.
According to Lockheed Martin, the new equipment, named M270A2, is a highly mobile automatic system that fires surface-to-surface rockets from the M270 family of launcher weapons platforms.
The MLRS Family of Munitions (MLRS MFOM) can be fired in less than one minute by the three-man crew, which was demonstrated very successfully in Operation Desert Storm.
The MLRS MFOM that can be fired from M270 systems includes 12 Guided MLRS (GMLRS) or Extended Range (ER) GMLRS rockets, four Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM) or two Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
Lockheed Martin is under contract to recapitalize more than 50 of the US Army’s M270 launchers.
The company, in partnership with the Red River Army Depot, will overhaul and upgrade the M270s as “zero-time” launchers.
Upgrades will completely refurbish launchers to include new engines, improved armour, and upgraded transmissions to name a few.
The US Army’s MLRS recapitalization effort will eventually upgrade its existing fleet of 225 MLRS M270A1 launchers and 160 decommissioned M270A0’s slated for de-militarization, to M270A2s.
Speaking of the project, Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control said: “This delivery represents a significant milestone for Lockheed Martin as the modernized system will support the Army and allied partners for decades to come.
“Our award-winning Camden facility continues to produce world-class vehicles, and this newest M270A2 launcher will continue our legacy of combat-proven reliability.”
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The M270A2 is a Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) enabling, heavy-tracked mobile launcher, transportable via C-17 and C-5 aircraft.
The launcher and its munitions are designed to enable soldiers to support the joint fight by engaging and defeating artillery, air defence concentrations, trucks, light armour and personnel carriers at greater distances than previously capable.
The enhanced MLRS M270A2 launcher can engage and relocate at high speed, dramatically reducing an adversary’s ability to locate the system.
These missiles are supposed to replace the ATAKMS currently in use, but this will happen according to the plans of the US government in 2024, but it will begin to enter the service next year 2023.
The new missile will have a range of up to 500 km, and the minimum striking distance is limited to a radius of 40 miles.
Similar units have been in operation with the US Army since 1983.
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M270 continues to exceed performance requirements and remains in high demand as evidenced by recent launcher production contracts, that include international orders for the United Kingdom.
BulgarianMilitary.com reported in May this year, the UK Army plans to upgrade its multi-launch ground-to-ground rocket system M270A2 in the coming months.
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The modernization of the British missile systems will cost approximately £190million, and the money was obligated at the time of the award.
As required, Lockheed Martin will have to complete all work on upgrading the M270 MLRS in the early second quarter of 2026.
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