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M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) (1983)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 9/12/2013

The MLRS Adds Suppression Support of Enemy Air Defenses.

The M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is a battlefield support weapon produced buy the Lockheed Martin Vought firm. The system yields an impressive assault armament of 12 tactical battlefield rockets and missiles with an equally impressive array of warhead variations as a mission requires. Though the system was fielded with the United States Army as early as 1983, the M270 would have to wait until the 1991 war with Iraq to showcase its stuff, to which it did in a highly satisfactory way.

The base M270 series is a fully-tracked combat system based on the M993 Carrier fitted to an M269 Launcher Loader Module. The system features an armored cab in front and a positional launch pod container made up of 2 x 6 holders. The M270 represents the US Army's principle rocket and missile launching platform and is fielded with a full compliment of three personnel. The firing system is designed to launch payloads in two ways - ripple fire and full fire. Ripple fire will fire the tactical payload off one at a time whereas full fire will send the entire ordnance skyward in a matter of seconds. This makes the M270 an effective psychological weapon as well as a tactical one, to much the same effect that the Soviet Army utilized their 6x6 rocket firing systems against the Germans in World War Two.

The MLRS can fire the M26 tactical rocket and the modified M26A1 and M26A2 extended range variants. Other ordnance available the to the system include tactical missiles in the form of the ATACMS Block I and practice rockets for training. The M270 is also designed to be equally air transportable in a systems such as the mammoth C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster series and the C-141 Starlifter aircraft.

The M270A1 represents a modernized variant of the base M270 featuring the ability to fire Guided MLRS rockets (GMLRS), TACMS (ATACMS) Block IA and II (BAT submunition) and ATACMS Unitary ordnance. Other improvements over the base M270 MLRS include a new IFCS (Improved Fire Control System) and ILMS (Improved Launcher Mechanical System). The M270A1 is the next logical step in the series and extends the service life of this capable system for several decades.

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Specifications for the
Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Vought - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1983
Production: 1,300

Focus Model: M270 MLRS
Crew: 3

Overall Length: 22.97ft (7.00m)
Width: 9.84ft (3.00m)
Height: 8.53ft (2.60m)
Weight: 30.9 US Short Tons (28,000kg; 61,729lbs)

Powerplant: 1 x Cummins VTA-903T V-8 turbocharged engine generating 506bhp @ 2,600rpm.

Maximum Speed: 40mph (64 km/h)
Maximum Range: 300 miles (483 km)

NBC Protection: Not Available
Nightvision: Not Available

12 x 227mm Solid-Fuel Rockets

12 x Rockets (various warheads)


M270A1 - Modernization program that includes cleaning/refurbishing existing rockets, GPS navigation system, update fire control system and upgraded launch system.

Bahrain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United States of America.