According to information published by the “Magnolia Reporter” website on July 9, 2022, American company Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control Division delivered its first M270A2 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) to the United States Army during a special ceremony
In FY2017, the U.S. Army directed the program office to modernize 160 obsolete, unserviceable MLRS M270A0s to M270A2s in an effort called MLRS Fleet Expansion. In addition to MLRS Fleet Expansion, the U.S. Army decided to extend the operational life of the existing M270A1 fleet until FY2050 or beyond, which drives the requirement to upgrade the current fleet of 225 M270A1 launchers to the M270A2 configuration.
The end state is 385 MLRS launchers with Improved Armored Cabs (IAC), Bradley commonality improvements, and Common Fire Control System (CFCS). Upon application of the IAC Modification Kit to an M270A1, the launcher permanently becomes an M270A2.
The M270A2 is a modernized version of the M270 that was first introduced during Operation Desert Storm, the Gulf War in 1990. This version is able to fire 12 surface-to-surface GMLRS (Guided Multiple Launch Rocket) or Extended-Range GMLRS rockets, 4 PrSM (Precision Strike Missile) or 2 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), a surface-to-surface missile.
The general layout of the M270A2 seems very similar to the original M270 and is based on the same tracked chassis. The crew cabin of the A2 version is higher and has reinforced armor to increase protection against the firing of small and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) threats.
The M270A2 is powered by a new engine developing 600 hp and is also equipped with a new upgraded transmission.
The M270A2 is equipped with a new launcher module and is able to fire the ER GMLRS (Extended Range Guided) rockets which are a new developmental variation of the Guided MLRS family, ER GMLRS offers an extended range out to 150 kilometers in all weather conditions. ER GMLRS shares significant commonality with legacy Guided MLRS and is deployable by HIMARS and the MLRS M270 family of launchers. The rounds incorporate a larger motor and have enhanced maneuverability due to tail-driven control.