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Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin, Diehl BGT Defence
Weight: 55,000 lb
Length: 22 ft 6 in
Width: 9 ft 9 in
Height: 8 ft 6 in
Rate of fire: (rockets) 12 rounds in 40 sec; (missiles) 2 rounds in 10 sec
Max Range: 40 miles
Armament: M269 Launcher Loader Module
Engine: Cummins Diesel
Operational Range: 400 miles
Speed: 40 mph
The Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), formerly known as the General Support Rocket System (GSRS), is designed to supplement cannon weapons available to U.S. Army division and corps commanders for the delivery of a large volume of firepower in a very short time against critical, time-sensitive targets. The MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is a high-mobility automatic system based on an M270 weapons platform. The MLRS is capable of supporting and delivering all freeflight basic and extended-range (ER-MLRS) rockets and the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block I missiles.
The MLRS launcher unit comprises an M270 launcher loaded with 12 rockets, packaged in two six-rocket pods. The launcher, which is mounted on a stretched Bradley chassis, is a highly automated self-loading and self-aiming system. It contains a fire control computer that integrates the vehicle and rocket launching operations. Without leaving the cab, the crew of three (driver, gunner and section chief) can fire up to twelve MLRS rockets in less than 60 seconds.
MLRS employs the "shoot and scoot" principle to limit vulnerability to counter-battery fire. In addition to the M77 dual purpose conventional submunition equipped with 644 high explosive grenades for anti-personnel and light vehicle engagements, the system can deliver the West German-developed AT2 scatterable mine warhead and has the potential for delivering other warheads.
A growth program is under way to add the extended range MLRS (ER-MLRS), which will increase the current range of the basic rocket from 31.8 kilometers (km) to a new range of approximately 50 km. The Guided MLRS (GMLRS), an additional combat support munition, is a modification to further enhance the range and accuracy of the ER-MLRS. The M270 launcher accommodates the MLRS Family of Munitions (MFOM), including the Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS). MLRS is co-produced by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.