Finland buys long-range GMLRS 135+km and 200-pound warheads

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HELSINKI, ($1=0.88 Euros) — The Finnish Armed Forces intend to improve their long-range impact capabilities, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Soldat & Technik. To achieve this, Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen recently approved procurement of Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead [ER GMLRS AW] and Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary [ER GMLRS UNITARY] rocket artillery effectors. This emerges from a message from the Finnish army.

Photo credit: YouTube

According to Finnish information, the scope of the procurement project amounts to around 70 million euros. Lockheed Martin is apparently to be commissioned to deliver the first systems to the Finnish army from 2025. The US Congress already approved the delivery of M30A2 ER GMLRS AW and M31A2 ER GMLRS UNITARY missiles to Finland in early 2021.

The procurement of the new guided munitions will enable more effective use of the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System [MLRS] rocket artillery system procured in 2006 and expand its range of ammunition, according to a statement by the Finnish Army.

The Finnish Armed Forces adopted 22 of these systems from the Netherlands in the mid-2000s and have meanwhile modernized them. For example, the fire control systems of the MLRS launchers were modernized between 2012 and 2015, which now enable the use of the new effectors.

In Finland, the systems are called “298 RsRakH 06”. In addition to the launchers, 40 GMLRS rocket pods were procured. Of these, 15 will be armed with the M31A1 Unitary Missile [90 total missiles] and 25 with the M30A1 Alternative Warhead Missile [150 total]. Both have a range of about 84 kilometers. The missiles arriving from 2025 will have a significantly greater range.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternate Warhead

The ER-GMLRS-AW missile has a pre-fragmented [tungsten fragments] warhead, allowing it to be used against area targets. The ammunition is suitable for combating soft and semi-hard targets. The range is up to 150 km, and GPS/inertial navigation ensures that the missile is precisely guided.

Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary

The ER-GMLRS-UNITARY missile is a precision effector and can be used to engage point targets. It works through explosive and explosive effects and is used against soft and semi-hard targets at a range of up to 150 km. GPS/inertial steering is also used here for steering.

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