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Ukraine conflict: UK accelerates Mobile Fires Platform programme

The UK is accelerating the British Army's Mobile Fires Platform programme to replace its AS90 SPHs (pictured above). (Crown copyright)

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced to the House of Commons on 16 January that he is accelerating the British Army's Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme, so that it delivers during the 2020s rather than the 2030s. He said he has also directed an interim artillery capability to be delivered, subject to commercial negotiation.

Janes understands that the UK now plans for the MFP to enter service in 2027.

Among the companies competing for the programme are Hanwha Defense's Team Thunder offering the K9A2 self-propelled howitzer (SPH), Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) with its Boxer Remote Controlled Howitzer (RCH) 155, Nexter with its CAESAR 8×8 SPH, BAE Systems with Archer, and Rheinmetall with an HX3 10×10 truck equipped with an automatic remote-controlled artillery turret.

The UK is also fielding long-range precision fires. The British Army's M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is being updated so it can fire Extended-Range Guided MLRS munitions, extending its range to 150 km, and allowing it to fire the US Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), the proposed replacement of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with a range of 499 km. A total of 44 updated launchers are expected to enter Royal Artillery service by 2025.

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