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MARS II rocket launchers donated by Germany are now fully operational in Ukraine

The MARS II MLRSs (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) donated by Germany to Ukraine are now fully operational in Ukraine and used by the Ukrainian army soldiers to fight Russian troops. Pictures were released on the Telegram Social Network of @milinfolive on November 26, 2022, showing Ukrainian soldiers near a MARS II MLRS in an undisclosed area in Ukraine.
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Ukrainian soldiers operate the German MARS II MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System in an undisclosed area in Ukraine. (Picture source Telegram account @milinfolive)

Citing information published by the German Ministry of Defense, Germany has already delivered to Ukraine 5 multiple rocket launchers MARS II with ammunition. Other European countries have also supplied Ukraine with M270 MLRS as France, Norway, and United Kingdom.

The MARS II is a German-made improved version of the American-made M270 MLRS which is able to fire guided rockets. It uses the same tracked chassis of the original M270 which is based on a stretched version of the American Bradley tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle).

The MARS II/MLRS-E has a crew of three including the driver, commander, and gunner who are seated in the fully enclosed cab at the front of the vehicle offering protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell fragments by aluminum armor and louvered windows. All the firing operations can be performed from inside the crew cabin which is fitted with an overpressure ventilation system to prevent rocket fumes from entering the cab. Equipment capabilities permit a reduced crew, or even one person, to accomplish a complete fire mission including the loading and unloading operations.

The upgraded MARS II/MLRS-E with the new GMLRS is able to conduct high-precision engagement of point and individual targets and is used as an artillery sniper weapon. The modernized variant of the M270 is also in service with Italy under the name of improved MLRS and in France as "Lance Roquette Unitaire (LRU)".

The obsolete hydraulic laying drives have been replaced by an electric laying system (Electrical Launch Drive System – ELDS) developed by the German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann), which enables rapid laying and reduces maintenance and repair effort as compared to the hydraulic system. The vehicle is also fitted with a fully automatic halon and CFC-free fire extinguishing system which uses nitrogen as the extinguishing agent for the engine compartment. It enables automatic fire monitoring and fighting, even up to 24 hours after the MARS II/MLRS-E launcher has been shut down. This retrofit package is –unlike the other two upgrade measures – currently only used in Germany and Italy.

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