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Finnish Defence Forces to procure Extended-Range GMLRS munition

The FDF will procure ER GMLRS AW and Unitary munitions beginning in 2025. (FDF)

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen has approved the procurement of Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) munition from the United States, the Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a press release on 11 February. The announcement followed approval of the procurement by Finland's Ministerial Finance Committee on 10 February.

The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) will procure Lockheed Martin Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative-Warheads (ER GMLRS AW) for employment against area targets and ER GMLRS Unitary munition for use against point targets. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2025.

The MoD said the procurement was assigned in 2018 based on the guidelines of the government's defence policy report and the long-term development plans of the FDF. The ministry expects the new munitions, with a range of 150 km, to significantly improve the performance and extend the range of the FDF's Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) procured in 2006 and keep them in service into the 2050s. The FDF procured the shorter range GMLRS AW and Unitary in 2016 following the upgrade of its MLRSs' fire-control systems in 2012–15 to enable them to fire the munition.

The AW rockets' preformed tungsten penetrators explode above a target and the Unitary rockets produce explosions and blast effects against point targets.

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