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DSEI 2021: British Army aims for deep fires portfolio

A portfolio of new surface-to-surface deep fires weapons is to be procured for the British Army to transform its capability to take on and defeat peer-level opponents.

Brigadier John Swift, the British Army's Head of Ground Manoeuvre Capability, told an audience at the DSEI defence exhibition in London on 14 September that fielding the new weapons would be central to the service's “pivot to the deep”.

The new weapons would allow the British Army to strike deep into enemy's rear areas and increase the survivability of the service's own deep strike weapons, he said. This would enable close manoeuvre operations.

At the heart of the new Land Deep Fires programme would be the concept of “one launcher, one payload”, which Swift said would be based around the upgraded Lockheed Martin M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

The British Army launched a programme to upgrade 44 M270s earlier this year and committed to procuring the US-developed Guided MLRS Extended Range (GMLRS-ER) missile and Precision Strike Missile (PrSM).

Brig Swift revealed that the British Army has ambitions to go beyond these weapons with two new capabilities being integrated onto the M270 launcher vehicle. Firstly, the Land Precision Strike capability is intended to be a shorter-range missile that can strike at targets in complex operational environments and is to enter service by 2028.

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