The UK will give M270 Multiple-launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russian aggression. The decision by Ben Wallace comes in response to requests from Ukrainian forces for longer range precision weapons in order to defend themselves from Russian heavy artillery, which has been used to devastating effect in the eastern Donbas region. The cutting edge M270 weapon system, which can strike targets up to 80km away with pinpoint accuracy, will offer a significant boost in capability for the Ukrainian forces. The UK’s decision has been co-ordinated closely with the US decision to gift the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) variant of MLRS. Alongside the weapon system, the UK will also supply M31A1 munitions at scale.
Ukrainian troops will be trained on how to use the launchers in the UK, so that they can maximise the effectiveness of the systems. Britain previously announced that Ukrainian personnel would be trained to use a variety of armoured vehicles which the UK donated, including Mastiff, Husky and Wolfhound. The UK was the first European country to supply lethal aid to Ukraine, and has since provided thousands of anti-tank missiles, anti-air systems and armoured vehicles to Ukrainian forces. Britain has also taken a leading role in coordinating international donations of military aid, with Ben Wallace hosting two international donor conferences to coordinate support from 35 partner nations, while RAF aircraft have moved thousands of tonnes of military assistance to Ukraine.
The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is an armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured in the United States and in Europe, along with more than 700,000 rockets. The production of the M270 ended in 2003, when a last batch was delivered to the Egyptian Army. The M270B1 is a British Army upgrade, similar to the A1, but it also includes an enhanced armor package, which gives the crew better protection against IED attacks. The MRLS firing the M31 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) munition, is the mainstay of the British Army’s deep and shaping fires capability. It also includes an enhanced armor package, which gives the crew better protection against IED attacks.
The M270 system can fire MLRS Family Of Munition (MFOM) rockets and artillery missiles, which are manufactured and used by a number of platforms and countries. Extended-Range (ER) Guided MLRS: A new developmental variation of the Guided MLRS family, ER GMLRS offers an extended range out to 150 kilometers in all weather conditions. ER GMLRS shares significant commonality with legacy Guided MLRS, and is deployable by HIMARS and the MLRS M270 family of launchers. The rounds incorporate a larger motor and have enhanced maneuverability due to tail-driven control. The M31 Guided Unitary MLRS is a derivative of the M30 with a 90 kg (200 lb) unitary high-explosive warhead for use in urban and mountainous terrain.