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LRU rocket launcher vehicles donated by France to Ukraine are now on combat duty

The LRU rocket launcher tracked vehicles, the French version of the American M270 227mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) donated by France are now on combat duty with the Ukrainian armed forces and ready to be used against the Russian forces deployed in Ukraine. A picture was released on Social Networks on December 22, 2022, showing a French LRU rocket launcher in an undisclosed area in Ukraine.
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An LRU rocket launcher vehicle donated by France in an undisclosed area in Ukraine. (Picture source Social Network)

On November 19, 2022, France announced the donation of 2 LRUs (Lance Roquette Unitaire - Unitary Rocket launcher) rocket launchers coming from the French army military inventory. The LRU is a French army version of the American M270 MLRS.

Other countries, including the United Kingdom, Norway, and Germany have provided similar weapon systems to Ukraine. According to our count, Ukraine's armed forces have now 13 M270 MLRS rocket launchers, six from Norway and the United Kingdom, five MARS II M270s from Germany, and two LRUs from France.

The LRU (Lance Roquette Unitaire or Unitary Rocket Launcher) is the French name of the American-made M270 227mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) which is based on a stretched version of Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) tracked chassis with an armored cabin at the front and two pods of six rocket launchers mounted at the rear of the hull.

Following the ban on cluster munitions in December 2008, the LRU was modernized with a new fire control system (EFCS – European Fire Control System) designed par Airbus Defense and Space offering the capabilities to fire the 227 mm M31 high explosive (HE) unitary warhead Guided MLRS (GMLRS).

Firing M31 guided rockets, the M270 is able to reach a land target at a distance from 15 to 70 km with an accuracy of 3 to 5 meters. The rocket is equipped with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) motor, a guidance package, and carries a warhead/payload which provides the capability of attacking a variety of land targets including those that require low collateral damage.

The LRU is powered by Cummins VTA-903 turbocharged 8-cylinder diesel developing 500 hp at 2,400 rpm coupled to a General Dynamics Land Systems HMPT-500 hydro-mechanical transmission. The torsion bar suspension consists on each side of six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. There are two track-return rollers that support the inside of the track only and one double roller. The rocket launcher can run at a maximum road speed of 65 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 480 km.

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