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Lockheed Martin has been awarded a USD 194.12 M (EUR 175.75 M) hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and fixed-price incentive) contract to recapitalise more Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) into the M270A2 configuration, the US Department of Defense announced on 28 April 2023.

The contract covers MLRS launchers operated by the US Army as well as by Italy and the United Kingdom, which announced in October 2022 that it would upgrade an initial nine of its M270s to the M270A2 standard. The British Army ultimately plans to operate 44 M270A2s.

The work, to be completed by 30 September 2027, will be conducted at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Camden in Arkansas as well as Grand Prairie and New Boston in Texas.

Lockheed Martin has received a new contract to upgrade US, UK and Italian MLRS launchers to the M270A2 standard. (Photo: T A O’Brien/Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin received its first M270A2 upgrade contract for US Army launchers in April 2019, with the aim of the US MLRS recapitalisation effort being to eventually upgrade the army’s entire fleet of 225 M270A1 launchers and 160 decommissioned M270A0s slated for demilitarisation to the M270A2 standard. The first M270A2 was handed over to the army in July 2022.

The M270A2 upgrade includes the Common Fire Control System (CFCS), which provides commonality with the M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and allows updated launchers to fire Precision Strike Missiles (PrSMs) as well as Extended-Range Guided MLRS rounds, which have a range of 150 km. Other improvements include a new 600 hp engine, an upgraded and rebuilt transmission, and an improved armoured cabin.

Peter Felstead