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DVD 2022: British Army seeks 100% uplift in MLRS numbers

The British Army is planning to increase the size of the UK's M270 MLRS fleet under plans to boost the service's deep fires capabilities. (Crown copyright)

Richard Smart, Senior Responsible Officer for Joint Effects at British Army Headquarters in Andover, outlined plans to increase both the capability and numbers of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) in the UK service on the second day of the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2022 event held at the Millbrook Proving Ground from 21 to 22 September.

Smart said that the first MLRS had gone for refit and overhaul and would be emerging shortly with significantly increased capabilities. With a stated intent of “one launcher, many effects”, he outlined a number of avenues of investigation currently under way. These include acquiring rockets with a range of 150 km and potentially the Precision Strike Missile, which would extend the range to 500 km.

Smart said that the UK has an aspiration to increase the MLRS fleet by at least 50% and ideally to double it. Steps to achieve this have included recovering museum pieces and gate guardians (vehicles parked at barracks and military buildings as decoration) and talks with other countries that are potentially retiring or reducing their own fleets.

The war in Ukraine has prompted the British Army to look at its artillery and battlefield rocket systems and consider how it can accelerate the procurement plans announced in 2021 in the Integrated Review and Future Soldier modernisation plans. These called for the AS90 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) to be replaced from 2029 with the new Mobile Fires Platform weapon system.

A senior British Army officer told Janes

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