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Lockheed Delivers First Upgraded Multiple Launch Rocket System to US Army

Lockheed Martin delivered its first Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270A2 to the US Army on Tuesday.

The delivery is part of a $362 million contract to upgrade 50 M270 launchers to the M270A2 model. 

The army wants to upgrade 225 existing M270A1 and 160 decommissioned M270A0 rocket launchers to the A2 standard this decade, extending their service life by at least another 30 years.

The Upgrades

The upgrade will refurbish the M270’s engine — replacing the current 500 horsepower engine with a new 600 horsepower engine, armored cab, a common fire control system, new transmission, and system components.

The new armored cab has a greater interior capacity and “energy-absorbing seats,” providing additional protection against mine blasts and improvised explosive devices.

The MLRS is the tracked version of the wheeled High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, capable of firing 12 Guided MLRS (GMLRS) or Extended Range GMLRS rockets, four Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM), or two Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

In comparison, the more mobile HIMARS can launch six GMLRS or Extended Range GMLRS rockets, two PrSM, or one ATACMS. The M270 can be transported by a C5 or larger aircraft, while the HIMARS can be transported on a C-130 and maritime vessels.

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