Documented: Ukraine uses UK-delivered M270B1 MLRS in action

KYIV ($1=36.97 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — Ukraine already uses the UK-supplied M270B1 Multiple Launch Rocket System [M270 MLRS]. A video shared on social media shows the M270 MLRS in action in Ukraine.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that at the beginning of June, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that London would help Kyiv by supplying these missile systems. This aid comes with the permission of the United States, as the M270B1 MLRS is an American original.

At the end of the video showing the operation of the British-supplied missile systems, a text appears thanking the Ukrainian partners for the delivery.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that London initially decided to upgrade the capabilities of its M270B1 MLRS, but then decided to donate them to Ukraine. The decision to upgrade the missile systems was made in May this year. The UK has a total of 42 M270A1 units that had to be upgraded to the M270A2 version by the end of 2026. With London’s agreement to donate M270 MLRS to Kyiv, it is unclear exactly how many weapons systems it will send, whether those remaining on the island’s armaments will be upgraded, and how this changes plans not only for the British defense but also for Lockheed Martin.

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.

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.

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

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].

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

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

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.

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