Mutiple launch rocket systems M270 MLRS and their variations, for example, German MARS-II, are on the list of the most desirable gifts for Ukrainian gunners. They will complement the M142 HIMARS, which have already proven their high efficiency on the battlefield. But while we wait for the M270A0, or at best the M270A1, the US Army has begun to receive the latest modification of this MLRS, the M270A2. The first machine of this configuration was handed over to the Pentagon on July 9, 2022.
The most interesting thing about the M270A2 is the new Common Fire Control System (CFCS), thanks to which the updated launchers will be able to launch the latest Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), which should replace the ATACMS, which we are also very much waiting for. PrSMs are much “skinnier” than ATACMS, which will allow placing not one, but two missiles in each launch container, which gives two PrSMs on the M142 HIMARS or as many as four PrSMs on the M270A2. At the same time, the range of the new missile is much greater than that of ATACMS – up to 500 km. And in connection with the expiration of the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium- and Short-Range Missiles, the range of the PrSM can be increased even more.
The first PrSM missiles should enter the army in 2023, but they will only be able to hit stationary targets, but the next version, with a new guidance head, expected in 2025, will be able to hit moving targets both on land and on water. If our M142 HIMARS made such a mess behind the ridges with just the GMLRS, one can only imagine what the PrSMs will be capable of.
Other significant upgrades in the M270A2 are a new 600 hp engine, a new transmission, and an improved armored crew cabin. In general, the launcher has become a little higher than the previous version.
The Pentagon plans to upgrade all 225 M270A1 installations to the M270A2 version, which should, in addition, receive 160 additional brand-new M270A2s. Let’s hope that someday this beauty will reach Ukraine.
Specifications of the M270 MLRS
Weight – 25 tons
Length – 6.85 m
Width – 2.97 m
Height – 2.59 m
Crew – 3
Caliber – 227 mm
Number of missiles – 12×227 mm, or 2×MGM-140 ATACMS, or 4×PrSM
Rate of fire – 18 shots/min
Effective firing range – 32-150 km (227 mm missiles), up to 300 km (MGM-140 ATACMS), up to 500 km (Precision Strike Missile)
Engine – Cummins diesel
Power – 600 hp.
Operational range – 480 km
Maximum speed – 64 km/h