J C Menon
Lockheed Martin has received a US$226m contract from the U.S. Army to recapitalise an additional 44 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270 launchers, following an initial contract, issued in 2019, calling for the refurbishment of 50 MLRS launchers, a company official informs. The programme will eventually upgrade the service’s existing fleet of 225 MLRS M270A1 launchers and 160 decommissioned M270A0s to M270A2s.
Lockheed Martin, in partnership with the Red River Army Depot, will overhaul and upgrade the M270s as “zero-time” launchers with brand new engines, improved armoured cabs and the new Common Fire Control System (CFCS) which will provide compatibility with future MLRS Family of Munitions (MFOM), says Gaylia Campbell, Vice President of Precision Fires and Combat Manoeuvre Systems for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The launcher’s improved armoured cabs significantly expands the interior volume and incorporates new energy-absorbing seats that provide additional protection from mine blasts and improvised explosive devices. Lockheed Martin will also upgrade the fire control panel and fire control system.
“The complete restoration and upgrade to our combat-proven MLRS will return the system to a zero-time condition and ensure the M270-series launcher remains highly effective and reliable to serve our Army customer through 2050,” Campbell says.
MLRS is a heavy tracked mobile launcher, transportable via C-17 and C-5 aircraft, that fires Guided MLRS rockets and Army Tactical Missile System missiles. MLRS will also be able to fire the Precision Strike Missile and Extended-Range GMLRS rockets, both currently in development.