M270 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS)

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Lord Jim
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M270 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS)

Post by Lord Jim »

The British Army needs to achieve greater range from its artillery systems. Here is one option that seems to have a lot of potential whether we fire it from our existing heavy GMRLS launchers or in invest in a lighter weight HIMARS style platform.


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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Half the cost! On wheels... would fit the bill for dispersed operations over a wide area (AKA the "Strike" concept).

May also solve the mystery why Finland first spent the money to upgrade the GMLRS fire control systems to support ATACMS... but then did not buy the missiles?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

It wasn't totally clear if the cost was just for the new missiles compared to the ATACMS or for this plus HIMARS. Mind you if we retain our GMLRS tracked launchers that is four of these beauties per launcher and a world of hurt on the receiving end.

Voldemort
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Voldemort »

Much rather I'd pay attention to volume of fire. SFMs with tens of skeets like Bonus raining down EFP death or FAE to take out your hidy hole and the next block too.

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

From what I have seem, each of these proposed missiles could contain the number of sensor fused munitions equivalent to four Bonus rounds so a salvo from a single GMLRS launcher would be the equivalent of sixteen 155mm Guns, but at for greater range and accuracy. Now multiply that by the number of launchers in a battery and as I said originally the target is in for a very painful time.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

One's own children are always the prettiest?

Or just a matter of the detail we know?

The new AW (was the FAE standing for Area Effects, which would be the same)... which the UK hasn't ordered, of course, plugs a serious hole in capability: the ability to attack OpFor formations not yet engaged, even though the warhead is only effective against soft and semi-soft targets.

Here the weight of fire needs to combine with the element of surprise (which is possible, because of the range). The unitary warhead is pretty much for sniping - with precision - against pretty much stationary targets. At best, command posts can present such. What is evident is the types of warheads listed in the below, for other "operators" of rocket artillery, is that they are not restricting their target set.

Some comparisons here:. Key Artillery Rocket Capabilities , between
M270A1 MLRS/ HIMARS

Smerch

WeiShi2 (WS-2)

Sorry, the table comes out messy... one day even such a format will be possible to bring over (pdf is a predominant format in sources!)

Range
15

84
km
Current generation
of rockets
has a
range
of
25

90
km, with
120
km
rockets in
development
Currently fielded
with
200
-
km
range;
latest variants
with
ranges
of
approximately 350
km
Accuracy
GPS/INS guidance
of
5

10
-
m
CEP
Course
correction
available:
0.23
percent
of range
claimed
(~207
m
at
90
km)
GPS/INS guidance
available
200
-
m
CEP claimed
Typical
w
arhead
s
ize
90
kg
95

100
kg
200
kg
Warhead
t
ypes
a
vailable
Unitary High
Explosive
DPICM (limited
use)
Germans have a
s
te
e
rable mine
warhead
4 types of submunition warheads
2 types of precision submunitions
antitank
mines
Fuel
-
a
ir
e
xplosive
p
arachute

retarded
HE
-
Frag
Hardened HE (earth penetrating)
DPICM
-
type
submunitions
Comprehensive effect submunitions
Fuel Air Explosive
HE
-
Frag Incendiary
Unmanned
a
erial
s
ystems
SOURCE:
Jane’s Armor and Artillery
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Poiuytrewq
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Future Land Indirect Fires, unveiled by MBMA at #DVD2018 today, are a set of concepts that leverage technologies from the UK Complex Weapons Portfolio to provide novel surface-to-surface precision strike capabilities for land forces at a brigade/division level.
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
Is this a realistic option or simply cost prohibitive?
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Poiuytrewq wrote:or simply cost prohibitive?
Put those on the back of the Archer platform (an armoured dumper truck) and a lot of the cost will go away.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

Isn't this another case of reinventing the wheel, where comparable systems already exist?

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

Here is something we maybe should purchase as a matter of urgency when available. The article doesn't mention which types of rocket will be available in the ER format but doubling the range and then some would certainly provide the RA with a superior Counter Battery capability.

https://www.janes.com/article/83720/aus ... r-mid-2019

J. Tattersall

Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by J. Tattersall »

Quite possibly an option. However one also needs to.plan for beyond GMLRS, whether that might entail going down a US or European route, perhaps some of the concepts which MBDA showcased recently.

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

The US is investing heavily in greatly increasing the capability of the MLRS with rockets having ranges form 150km to over 300km. Unitary and cargo variants are in development so following their lead would make sense. I personally believe we should look at replacing out heavy tracked launchers with lighter system based around HIMARS but using a chassis common to one already in UK use. A lightweight precision weapon system similar to that used in Afghanistan but on a SP chassis would also be welcome to support out light and middle weight formations, and their are a number of these already in service or soon will be. Ideally pursuing a ground launched Brimstone would be the ideal option in my opinion, given the flexibility of its guidance systems and the low risk of such a programme allow for rapid entry into service, funding permitting.

bobp
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by bobp »

Some work being done to upgrade the MLRS:

mr.fred
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by mr.fred »

bobp wrote:Some work being done to upgrade the MLRS:
Did someone put that rocket in the hot wash?

RunningStrong
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by RunningStrong »

Is the "close" aspect a consideration that the system could be used in an FR(O) role?

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

Great news if we can actually get them to where they are needed. I still think we should look towards HIMARS.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Are we going to quad-pack some rockets (BAE makes nice ones, forward elements can designate the targets) or what is this vague talk about?
- still no word on getting AW (against massing areas: use these as a first strike, before everyone takes cover, and have artillery pump Bonus rounds into the area as "aftercare"... the tanks won't escape that fast)
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

They are probably talking about the US Army's next generation long range missile that will be deployed via the GMLRS and HIMARS with two per a missile pack. There is also the Ground Launched SDB programme and the non-unitary GMLRS round that carries submunitions. All of these would be great but we still have to be able to get the M270s to where they are needed quickly and safely, something we are going to struggle to do.

Suggestion, if we don't replace the M270s with HIMARS is to forward deploy an a Brigade of sorts to Poland. This would contain two Ajax Recce Regiments, a Regiment of GMLRS and a SHORAD Regiment equipped with Starstreak/LMM. This formation would be used to form a screening force for NATO whilst other units mobilise and deploy. Obviously there would have to be some alterations to the variants of Ajax we would purchase as well as the total number, less than 200.

Other detail of follow on forces and unit organisations will be in a future post "The future form of the British Army 2.0".

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

bobp wrote:Some work being done to upgrade the MLRS:
Reads well and probably ties in with the Uk/Italy/Finland project for FCS revamp. What is not clear is are we parting ways with the US solution for the same as they have just announced a renewal project of their own, for the same platform:
"As an upgraded variant of the M270 MLRS, the M270A2 features the Common Fire Control System; new engine, transmission and launcher-loader modules; and improved armoured protection for the cabin. "
- from today's Shephardmedia(.com)
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

Lord Jim
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by Lord Jim »

As long as we are still linked to the new generation of US manufactured munitions available to the M270 and the FCS we use is compatible I think we will do alright. I still think we should be looking at a limited purchase of HIMARS which would use the US FCS but the came six and possibly two round magazines. Our deployable forces need access to the GMLRS capabilities as well as the Deep Strike BCT and Heavy BCTs.
Flying in one or two tracked M270 will not always be sufficient and the level of mobility and substantial logistics to support a larger contingent would require, would restrict its mobility and effectiveness. In a wide area like Mali and East Africa would it be viable to fly M270s around to where they are needed. HIMARS has the level of mobility required to keep up with Medium and Lighter forces without putting a strain on the logistics train. Maybe we should re-role one of out Light Gun Regiments and equip then with three or four HIMARS batteries?

NickC
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Re: GMLRS and the future

Post by NickC »

US Army in March contracted for additional 9,000 rounds including 1,800 short range practise rounds, lot 16, for their own use and some allies, also funding Lockheed in development of the extended range variant, 50 mile/80 km, which they achieved while testing at White Sands Missile Range in early March.


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