M270MLRS. Specifications. A photo.
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M270MLRS. Specifications. A photo.

M270MLRS. Specifications. A photo.

The M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is a multi-purpose rocket launcher used for launching rockets (used as MLRS), as well as for launching guided missiles and special ammunition. The M270 MLRS was developed by Lockheed Martin in the 70s.

The M270 MLRS systems are often confused with classic multiple launch rocket systems, however, the system was originally supposed to be used for launching cruise missiles, and only then became universal, with the ability to use rocket-propelled ammunition, tactical missiles, as well as special ammunition, for example, for remote setting of minefields .

History of the M270 MLRS

The M270 MLRS system began to be developed in the 60s of the last century. The key condition for its development was the replacement of obsolete MLRS and the creation of more high-precision weapons with the ability to hit targets outside enemy artillery batteries. Initially, the M270 MLRS system was supposed to play the role of a special unit support vehicle, however, later it became an independent combat unit capable of causing great damage in a limited area.

In the 80s of the last century, the M270 MLRS system began to enter service with the American army, where it was able to prove itself quite successfully due to its high mobility with the ability to work in hard-to-reach areas or directly in front-line zones.

Combat use of the M270 MLRS

The M270 MLRS received its first combat use in 1991 during the Gulf War. In addition to the active use of rockets, the US army also used long-range tactical missiles, which made it possible to deliver precision strikes against the positions of the Iraqi army.

Between 2003 and 2011, M270 MLRS systems were actively used to destroy areas where Iraqi guerrilla groups, self-defense forces and military infrastructure were located. At the same time, GMLRS guided missiles were used for the first time.

M270 MLRS systems were also actively used during the Lebanon War in 2006. A key feature of the application was the infliction of operational strikes on rocket launchers of the Lebanese military and members of the Hezbollah group.

Since mid-2022, the M270 MLRS systems have received the most combat use on the territory of Ukraine. Due to the high rate of fire, these systems delivered several thousand strikes, and so far not a single fact of the defeat of these systems by Russian troops has been revealed. Such systems played an important role in the defeat of ammunition depots, as well as in the counteroffensive, before which these systems, using special ammunition, carried out mining of the territory, preventing Russian troops from using military equipment for a breakthrough.

Modifications M270 MLRS

  • M270 (M270A0) is the basic version of the system. The battery of the M270 MLRS systems included 9 launchers, which made it possible to simultaneously work on a large number of targets.
  • M270 IPDS - an upgraded version of the basic version of the M270. A key improvement was the improved determination of target coordinates. The first version of the system capable of delivering strikes with ATACMS tactical missiles.
  • M270A1 MLRS - an upgraded version of the basic version of the M270. It includes an improved fire control system, which reduces the strike time by almost half, providing an opportunity for operational strikes.
  • M270B1MLRS - an upgraded version of the M270A1 version, intended for the UK.
  • M270B2MLRS - improved version of the M270B1 installation.
  • M270C1MLRS - an upgraded version of the system, designed to use a universal fire control system, in order to supply partner countries.
  • M270D1MLRS - an upgraded version of the missile launcher. The key difference is the use of new control systems (computer, launch control unit, GPS antenna, etc.).
  • M270 MARS I/II - an upgraded version of the M270 system, intended for delivery to Germany. Able to fire special types of ammunition, for example, for setting minefields, smoke screens, etc.
  • M270LRU - an upgraded version of the M270 system, intended for delivery to the arsenal of France and Italy.
  • M270A2 MLRS - a deeply modernized version of the M270 system. The system is fully adapted for network-centric control, and is also unified with M142 HIMARS systems.

The M270 MLRS system uses two types of ammunition - guided and unguided.

Unguided munitions include rockets:

  • M26 - unguided rocket projectile with a cluster warhead;
  • M26A1 - unguided rocket projectile with a cluster warhead. The maximum target engagement range is 45 kilometers;
  • M26A2 - unguided rocket projectile with a cluster warhead. The maximum target engagement range is 45 kilometers;
  • M28 - unguided rocket for practical firing;
  • M28A1 - unguided rocket for practical firing. Maximum firing range - 9 kilometers;
  • M28A2 - unguided rocket for practical firing. Maximum firing range - 9 kilometers;
  • PARS SAGE-227F - Turkish version of the M26 ammunition.

Guided munitions include rockets:

  • M30 - guided missile caliber 227 mm. Equipped with a cluster warhead containing 404 submunitions. The maximum firing range is 70 kilometers.
  • M30A1 - guided missile caliber 227 mm. It is equipped with a fragmentation warhead consisting of 182000 striking tungsten elements. The maximum firing range is 84 kilometers.
  • M30A1 - guided missile caliber 227 mm. It is equipped with a fragmentation warhead consisting of 182000 striking tungsten elements. The maximum firing range is 84 kilometers. The missile has increased speed and reduced radar visibility.
  • M31 - guided missile caliber 227 mm. Equipped with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead. The maximum firing range is 84 kilometers.
  • M31A1 - guided missile caliber 227 mm. Equipped with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead. The maximum firing range is 84 kilometers. Equipped with the possibility of air blasting.
  • M31A2 - guided missile caliber 227 mm. Equipped with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead. The maximum firing range is 84 kilometers. Equipped with the possibility of air blasting and reduced radar visibility.
  • M32 SM Art - guided missile, with a cluster warhead. It uses homing anti-tank submunitions designed to destroy armored vehicles on an area of ​​up to 7 hectares.
  • ER GMLRSAW - guided missile caliber 227 mm. Capable of hitting targets at distances up to 150 kilometers.
  • ER GMLRS UNITARY - guided missile caliber 227 mm. Capable of hitting targets at distances up to 200 kilometers.
  • AT-2 - a guided missile designed to lay minefields.
  • Trajectory Corrected Rocket (TCS\RAMAM) - Israeli guided missile, with the ability to adjust the flight path during the launch of the rocket.
  • Romach - Israeli guided missile GMLRS. The maximum launch range is 35 kilometers.
  • Ra'am Eithan - Israeli missile, which is an upgrade of the Trajectory Corrected Rocket (TCS\RAMAM) missile.

Among other things, the M270 MLRS systems are capable of striking with tactical missile weapons, which include the ATACMS missile and PrSM

  • ATACMS Block I - a tactical missile with a cluster warhead and an inertial control system. The maximum range of hitting targets is 150 kilometers.
  • ATACMS Block IA - tactical missile with a high-explosive warhead. The missile is equipped with an inertial control system and is equipped with a GPS receiver. The maximum range of hitting targets is 150 kilometers.
  • ATACMS Block IA Unitary - tactical missile with a high-explosive warhead. The missile is equipped with an inertial control system and is equipped with a GPS receiver. The maximum range of hitting targets is 270 kilometers.
  • ATACMS Block II - tactical missile with a cluster warhead. The missile is equipped with an inertial control system and is equipped with a GPS receiver. The maximum range of hitting targets is 140 kilometers.
  • ATACMS Block IIA - tactical missile with a high-explosive warhead. The missile is equipped with an inertial control system and is equipped with a GPS receiver. The maximum range of hitting targets is 220 kilometers.
  • PrSm - tactical missile with a range of up to 500 kilometers.

M270 MLRS systems, as of November 2022, are in service with such countries as:

  • USA;
  • Egypt;
  • Greece;
  • Turkey;
  • Saudi Arabia;
  • Bahrain;
  • France;
  • Finland;
  • Germany;
  • Italy;
  • Israel;
  • South Korea;
  • United Kingdom;
  • Ukraine.

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