The United States, United Kingdom, and Germany are deeply committed to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s unprovoked invasion. Russia has shifted its focus to the Donbas region, where it is engaging in a systematic long-range rocket and artillery barrage against defensive Ukrainian military positions and civilian infrastructure alike. Ukraine has specifically requested this capability, which will allow the Ukrainian Armed Forces to engage the invading force with accurate fire at ranges of approximately 70 kilometers. To help Ukraine defend its citizens and sovereign territory, the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany have committed to provide Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) with Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) rockets.
The United States announced on June 1, 2022 that it would provide four M142 HIMARS and GMLRS munitions. On June 6, the United Kingdom announced it would donate three M270 MLRS launchers with GMLRS munitions. The transfer of these MLRS systems, and the associated training our three countries will provide to Ukrainian operators is crucial to Ukraine’s self-defense. The necessary training has already begun on the U.S. HIMARS and UK M270 systems for their deployment in the coming weeks. And today, at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels, Belgium, Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht announced that Germany would transfer three M270 Mittleres Artillerie Raketen System (MARS) launchers and GMLRS ammunition from Bundeswehr stocks.
The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is an armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher. Since the first M270s were delivered to the U.S. Army in 1983, the MLRS has been adopted by several NATO countries. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured in the United States and in Europe,[vague] along with more than 700,000 rockets. The production of the M270 ended in 2003, when a last batch was delivered to the Egyptian Army. MLRS was developed jointly by the United Kingdom, United States, West Germany, France and Italy, developed from the older General Support Rocket System (GSRS). The M270 MLRS weapons system is collectively known as the M270 MLRS Self-Propelled Loader/Launcher (SPLL). The M993 is a derivative of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle chassis.
The M31 GMLRS Unitary rocket transformed the M270 into a point target artillery system for the first time. Due to GPS guidance and a single 200 lb (91 kg) high-explosive warhead, the M31 could hit targets accurately with less chance of collateral damage while needing fewer rockets to be fired, reducing logistical requirements. The unitary warhead also made the MLRS able to be used in urban environments. The M31 had a dual-mode fuse with point detonation and delay options to defeat soft targets and lightly fortified bunkers respectively, with the upgraded M31A1 equipped with a multi-mode fuse adding a proximity airburst mode for use against personnel in the open. The GMLRS has a minimum engagement range of 15 km (9.3 mi) and can hit a target out to 70 km (43 mi), impacting at a speed of Mach 2.5.