Norway to donate 3 M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems to Ukraine

According to a statement published by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense on June 29, 2022, Norway and the United Kingdom will cooperate on the donation of long-range rocket artillery M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) to Ukraine.
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Norwegian army M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System. (Picture source Army Recognition)

During the G7 Summit 2022 that was held in Schloss Elmau from 26 to 28 June 2022, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested more weapons and especially air defense and artillery systems. The Russian armed forces continue to strengthen operations in the region Donbas, which broadly refers to Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where Russian-backed separatists held significant territory before the invasion.

Ukrainian soldiers had to leave several positions in the face of the power of the Russian army artillery. The bombardment by the Russian artillery has restarted in the city of Kyiv and a bridge near the central city of Cherkasy. On Sunday morning Russian cruise missiles were fired on areas far from the frontline.

Faced with this situation, the delivery of MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is a high priority for the Ukrainian armed forces. The donation of M270 MLRS is made possible by close cooperation between Norway and the United Kingdom, says Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.

The Norwegian MLRS are phased out and the donation will not affect the national preparedness of the Norwegian armed forces. Initially, three units will be donated. The Norwegian M270 MLRS will need to be upgraded, so the UK will receive and upgrade the Norwegian MLRS, to backfill upgraded British pieces sent to Ukraine.

According to a military source, Norway has a total of 12 M270 MLRS that were retired from active service in 2005, and have been sitting in storage since then. This was largely a result of Norway signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as not being able to afford to upgrade the system to fire M31 GMLRS at the time.

The M270 is an American-made MLRS based on a tracked chassis that entered into service with the U.S. Army in 1983. The MLRS launcher unit comprises an M270 Launcher loaded with 12 rockets, packaged in two six-rocket pods. The launcher, which is mounted on a stretched Bradley chassis, is a highly automated self-loading and self-aiming system. Each MLRS launcher can deliver almost 8,000 munitions in less than 60 seconds at ranges exceeding 32km. The Norwegian version is not able to fire missiles as the latest variant of the U.S. Army.