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Ukraine conflict: UK to supply MLRS to Kyiv

The UK will supply MLRS to Ukraine. (UK MoD/Crown copyright 2022)

The UK will gift M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs) to Ukraine, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced in a Ministry of Defence (MoD) press release on 5 June. The MoD said the UK would also supply M31A1 munitions “at scale”.

Asked by Janes how many MLRSs would be supplied, the MoD said on 7 June that it could not reveal numbers. BBC reported on 6 June that the initial number would be three.

“These highly capable Multiple Launch Rocket Systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery, which [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities,” Wallace said. The MoD explained that Wallace's decision “comes in response to requests from Ukrainian forces for longer-range precision weapons to defend themselves from Russian heavy artillery, which has been used to devastating effect in the eastern Donbas region”.

Ukrainian troops will be trained on MLRS in the UK, according to the MoD.

The ministry said the UK's decision to supply Ukraine with MLRS had been co-ordinated closely with the US decision to gift the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) variant of MLRS to the embattled country. US President Joe Biden announced on 1 June that Washington is sending four M142 HIMARS launchers and an undisclosed number of M31 Guided MLRS (GMLRS) unitary rounds with a 70 km range to Ukraine as part of a new USD700 million security aid package, as reported by Janes on 2 June.

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