US approves the sale GMLRS guided rockets for Finnish army M270 rocket launchers

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense on November 2, 2022, The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) for M270 MLRS and related equipment for an estimated cost of $535 million.
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Finnish army M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System. (Picture source Wikimedia)

The Government of Finland has requested to buy one hundred fifty (150) M30A1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) (Steel Case), or M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS), or a combination of both; and two hundred fifty (250) M31A1 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) Warhead (Steel Case), or M31A2 GMLRS-U IMPS, or a combination of both. Also included is a Quality Assurance Team (QAT); transportation services; and other related elements of program and logistics support. The total estimated cost is $535 million.

Finland intends to use these defense articles and services to increase its national stock, bolstering the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank. The increased national stock is critical to Finland’s defense and deterrence due to the deteriorated security situation in Europe. Finland will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

Currently, the Finnish armed forces have a total of 56 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) including 34 Czech-made RM-70s and 22 American-made M270s. In 2010, Finland has requested the upgrade of its M270 MLRS fleet to the Universal Fire Control System configuration. In May 2011, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) received a $45.3 million contract to upgrade 22 Finnish Army M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers, incorporating the Universal Fire Control System and other enhancements. The upgrade enables the launchers to fire precision GPS-guided munitions for the first time.

The M270 is a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) manufactured by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The M270 MLRS is operational in the US Army, and fourteen countries have fielded or ordered MLRS including Bahrain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, and United Kingdom. The M270 is now also used by the Ukrainian army to fight Russian troops.

The M30A1 guided multiple launch rocket system alternate warhead recently debuted during a test fire exercise in Kuwait. This rocket has an Alternative Warhead (AW), which is filled with 182,000 pre-formed tungsten fragments. They spread widely after the impact, destroying enemy personnel and equipment in a wide area. The rocket has a range of 15-92 kilometers.

The M30A2 rocket with Alternative Warhead (AW) has a firing range from 15 to 92 kilometers (9.3–57.2 mi). It is an improved version of the M30A1 with Insensitive Munition Propulsion System (IMPS).