UK flexes rapid deployment of rocket artillery to Estonia - M5 Dergi
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UK flexes rapid deployment of rocket artillery to Estonia

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A Royal Air Force A400M delivered a Multiple Launch Rocket System to the British Army exercising in Estonia, working closely with Allies in a crisis response scenario.

Rapid Air Land (RAL) is vital for deployment at pace, says the Ministry of Defence.

Recently, the Ministry of Defence confirmed plans to upgrade and expand its Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) fleet to 85 vehicles from around 40. The information, confirming earlier plans, came in response to a question from Conservative MP Mark Francois regarding the specifics of the current fleet and future enhancement strategies.

Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, James Cartlidge, revealed that the Ministry manages an operational fleet of 26 MLRS units, with an additional 50 systems held in reserve. The upgrade plans encompass 69 of these systems at a projected cost of £481 million. Moreover, an additional £158 million has been earmarked for enhancing 16 further systems. This phase includes the acquisition of surplus units from international partners, aiming to expand the operational fleet to 85 systems.

The upgrade process, structured in four tranches, is scheduled to conclude by 2030.

Cartlidge said:

“The Ministry of Defence has an operational fleet of 26 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), comprising launcher and repair and recovery variants, and owns a further 50 MLRS, all of which will be upgraded.

To date, approval has been granted to upgrade 69 systems at an estimated capital cost of £481 million (using current exchange rate assumptions). Funding of £158 million has been allocated for the upgrade of a further 16 systems, which includes the purchase of surplus systems sourced from other nations. This will lead to a total operational fleet size of 85 systems.

The MLRS fleet is being upgraded in four tranches with the final deliveries estimated to be complete by 2030.”

The UK previously operated 4 of an M270A1 variant called M270B1, which includes an enhanced armour package.

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