Bahrain upgrades its armored self-propelled M270 MLRS to M270A1

MANAMA, ($1=0.38 Bahraini Dinars) — Bahrain will spend approximately $ 176 million to begin upgrading its M270 armored, self-propelled, multi-rocket launcher [MLRS] and its associated MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS]. The news was announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA], which has already notified Congress of this update.

Bahrain upgrades its armored self-propelled M270 MLRS to M270A1
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Bahrain is reportedly buying an update on nine missile systems, with the main goal of upgrading the existing M270 to an M270A1 configuration. DSCA says the process of upgrading Bahrain’s weapons systems will include the supply and integration of fire control systems, an improved mechanical launch system, new engines, electronics, cooling, transmission, communications systems, and more.

The value of the deal includes spare parts for the next two years with active use of the M270, as well as a process of training, testing, integration, maintenance, and more. The sale will be carried out by the American company Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, MD, which is a manufacturer of M270 and weapons systems.

The United States says Bahrain’s investment in upgrading these weapons systems will improve their combat effectiveness and respond to threats in the Persian Gulf. The United States recalls that Bahrain is a NATO ally and important for political stability in the Middle East.

M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System

The M270 was designed as far back as 1977 and has been in service since 1983. Operators of this system, in addition to the United States and Bahrain, are countries such as Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and others. In 2003, production of the M270 was discontinued, but upgrades to existing variants continued.

The M270 weighs 25 tons and is approximately 7 meters long. It is run by a crew of three people. It can shoot rockets and missiles with different frequencies. For example 18 rds / min [rockets] and 12 rds / min [missiles]. Depending on the modification of the weapon system, the operational range can reach from 32 to 70 km. If the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System [ATACMS] is used in the M270, then the operational range is significantly increased – from 165 km to 300 km, but when using Precision Strike Missile the range reaches 500 km.

The M270 has 500 horsepower and develops a top speed of 64 km / h, provided by the American Cummins diesel engine. With a full tank of fuel, the maximum distance that the M270 can cover is 480 km.

Bahrain upgrades its armored self-propelled M270 MLRS to M270A1
Photo credit: Wikipedia

M270A1 upgrade

M270A1 was the result of a 2005 upgrade program for the U.S. Army, and later on for several other states. The launcher appears identical to the M270 but incorporates an improved fire control system [IFCS] and an improved launcher mechanical system [ILMS]. This allows for significantly faster launch procedures and the firing of new types of ammunition, including GPS-guided missiles.

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