Ukraine has received the first M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) from its Western allies, the country’s defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, announced on July 15.
“Long Hand Family of Ukrainian army has been enlarged: the first MLRS M270 have arrived … They will be good company for [M142] HIMARS on the battlefield … Thank you to our partners,” Reznikov said on Twitter, without clarifying how many MLRS have been received.
Ukraine is set to receive a total of nine MLRSs from its Western allies. The UK will provide three M270B1 MLRS launchers, Norway will supply three outdated M270 launchers, which will be upgraded in the UK, and Germany will supply three M270A1 MARS II launchers.
In addition, the US has committed to supply a total of the very similar 12 HIMARS systems to Ukraine. Most of these systems have been already delivered.
Just like the HIMARS systems, the MLRS supplied to Ukraine will be armed with M30/M31 series GMLRS precision-guided rockets, which have a range of more than 70 kilometers. GMLRS rockets are guided by a GPS-aided inertial navigation system and a have a circular error probable of one meter.
The heavier tracked MLRS is slower and less mobile than the HIMARS. However, it has more fire power. Each MLRS can be loaded with two pods each armed with six GMLRS rockets.
While both the HIMARS and the MLRS are highly effective rocket artillery systems, they will not likely have any real impact on the conflict in Ukraine. Kiev’s Western allies hope that these systems will at least slow down the Russian special military operation in the country.