An overview: M-270 MLRS

The M-270 MLRS is a multiple rocket launcher of US origin. It was developed in the late 1970’s to meet a joint US, UK, German and French requirement. The name MLRS stands for “Multiple Launch Rocket System”. Its intended role is to quickly saturate an area with bomblets in order to defeat concentrations of both armor and personnel. Over time the role changed to deliver long range precision fire with medium or large caliber rockets. The MLRS is based on a tracked chassis with a forward control cab that houses the crew of three. The trainable launcher is mounted at the rear and is loaded by two blocks of rockets. Each block contains six unguided or guided solid fuel rockets or a single ATACMS missile. Additional ammunition is carried on all terrain trucks, such as the US HEMTT. The standard 227mm unguided rockets have a 32 km range and feature dual purpose submunitions. Extended range rockets have a 45 km range. Guided rockets are available with submunition or unitary warhead and with ranges of 60 or 90 km. Optionally two ATACMS missiles are carried which have a 300 km range. The main user of the MLRS is the United States. It was adopted by a variety of European nations and various other US allies worldwide. Many systems in Western service have been adopted to launch the newer guided rockets. The MLRS system is being supplemented by the newer and more mobile HIMARS system. It has fought in many conflicts over the years, such as the Gulf Wars (Desert Storm-Iraqi Freedom) and it has fought insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall it is an exceptional artillery system and it can destroy enemy formations and infrastructure with its arsenal.