The United Kingdom will send further M270 MLRS multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine as part of an enduring commitment to help the country defend itself against Russia’s illegal invasion, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced. The decision comes following the successful use of multiple-launch rocket systems by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, gifted by the UK earlier this year. Britain will also give a significant number of precision guided M31A1 rockets which can strike targets up to 80km away, enabling Ukraine to continue to defend itself against Russian heavy artillery.
Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK on how to use the launchers so that they can maximise the effectiveness of the systems. This is in addition to the UK’s commitment to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in infantry battlefield skills over the coming months. Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands have all announced they will be supporting the programme. Building on this effort, the Defence Secretary will co-host the Copenhagen Conference for Northern European Defence Allies of Ukraine on Thursday 11 August, to discuss further, long-term support for Ukraine on training, equipment, and funding.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP said:” This latest tranche of military support will enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue to defend against Russian aggression and the indiscriminate use of long-range artillery. Our continued support sends a very clear message, Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion.”
The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is an American armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher. M270B1 British Army variant of the M270A1, which includes an enhanced armor package to give the crew better protection against IED attacks. Due to GPS guidance and a single 200 lb (91 kg) high-explosive warhead, the M31A1 could hit targets accurately with less chance of collateral damage while needing fewer rockets to be fired, reducing logistical requirements. The M31A1 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.