Upgraded MLRS set for Finland after US State Department approves $395 million deal
The upgrade includes intercom systems, radio communication mounts, machine gun mounts, battle management system vehicle integration and other related elements of programme and logistics support.
In May 2011, Lockheed Martin received a $45.3 million contract to upgrade 22 Finnish MLRS, incorporating the universal fire control system and other enhancements. The upgrade enabled the launchers to fire precision GPS-guided munitions for the first time.
Finland’s MLRS were purchased from the Netherlands in 2007, and the country also has training systems.
More than a thousand remain in service, primarily with US forces but also with many NATO countries as well as Israel, South Korea and Bahrain. Systems have also been provided to Ukraine for its war against Russia.
The weapons are seen as vital in the current political environment for Finland, one of NATO'S newest members.
Originally conceived as a saturation weapon when developed in the late-1970s and early 1980s, the addition of GPS guidance has made the weapon more effective.
The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin, Marlow in the UK, Leonardo DRS in Virginia, US, and Loc Performance Products in Michigan, US.
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