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UK seeks to augment its deep fires capability
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will upgrade M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers in service with the British Army.
The upgrade of 44 launchers is part of a broader five-year MLRS overhaul contract between Lockheed Martin and the US DoD.
Work will begin in March 2022 to keep the equipment in service with the British Army until 2050.
New features will include a new armoured cab and upgraded automotive and launch mechanism components, as well as UK-specific features such as composite rubber tracks, a vehicle camera and a radar system.
Finland, Italy, the UK and the US are also developing a new fire-control system for the M270.
New weapons will be available once the upgrade is completed. The M270 will be able to fire the Guided MLRS Extended Range (GMLRS-ER) missile from 2025. According to Shephard Defence Insight, this missile has a range of 150km compared to 84km with the legacy GMLRS.
All 44 updated launchers will also be capable of firing the US-made Precision Strike Missile, which has a range of 499km and is expected to enter service with the British Army in 2024.
‘These weapons will place the British Army at the cutting edge of global deep fires capability, ready to respond to long-range air defence and missile threats presented by hostile actors,’ the army announced on its website.
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