US received M270A2: PrSMs and upgraded launcher-loader modules

WASHINGTON — The US Army has received the first M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System [M270 MLRS] upgraded to the M270A2 version, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing information from open sources, including Ronkainen’s tweet.

US received M270A2: PrSM and upgraded launcher-loader modules
Photo credit: Army Technology

The M270A2 version is part of the 2019 US M270 modernization program and includes some improvements such as a new 600 hp engine, common fire control system [CFCS], upgraded transmission, upgraded or new launch and loading modules, as well as improved vehicle cabin armor.

The M270A2 version will be able to fire the Precision Strike Missile [PrSM] – a new version of the GPS-guided missile. 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 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 60 km.

The M270A2 version will be able to launch the latest US missiles – ER GMLRS. This missile has a range of up to 150 km and is also expected to enter service in the coming years, with the most cited date for reaching full operational capability being 2025. This rocket has increased rocket motor size, a newly designed hull, and tail-driven guidance while still containing six per pod.

Next is Great Britain

As 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. Lockheed Martin will provide new engines, improved armored cabins, and a common fire control system, as well as enhanced transmissions and modernized system components.

The modernization of the British missile systems will cost approximately $224 million, and the money were 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.

British M270 MLRS to get a new engine, armored cab, control system
Photo: Cpl Jamie Peters RLC

About M270 MLRS

M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System [M270 MLRS] is an American-made armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher. In 1983 he enlisted in the United States Army. A total of 20 other countries around the world continue to have or have had this missile system. Production of the M270 MLRS has already been discontinued and has not been produced since 2003.

Norway transfers obsolete M270s to the UK, an upgrade is needed
Photo credit: ØYVIND BYE SKILLE / NRK

The M270 MLRS was designed in 1977 by Lockheed Martin. There are also units manufactured in Europe by Diehl BGT Defense and Aérospatiale. It registered in three wars: the Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, and Iraq. There is no confirmed information, but Ukraine claims to have used the M270 MLRS in the war against Russia.

The system can fire 18 rockets in a minute – all 227mm caliber or 2 missiles in a minute. Depending on the modification of the projectile, the operational range of the system is different: from 32 to 70 km. However, the M270 MLRS can multiply the maximum range of damage at least three times if it uses the ATACMS surface-to-surface missile [SSM]: then it strikes at a distance of 165 to 300 km. If used by Lockheed Martin Precision Strike Missile [PsM] M270 MLRS strikes up to 499 km.

The M270 MLRS is powered by a Commins diesel engine. It provides the rocket launcher with 500 hp [373 kW]. 480 km is the maximum distance that the M270 MLRS travels with a fuel tank to the top, and the maximum speed it can develop reaches 64 km / h [39.8 mph].

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