Germany approves acquisition of new rockets for MARS MLRS and upgrade of Patriot missiles

According to information released by the German Armed Forces on July 2, 2020, the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany has approved the acquisition of new rockets for the M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems called MARS in the German Army as well a plan to modernize the Patriot air defense missile systems.
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MARS M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System of the German Army. (Picture source Wikimedia)

For this modernization plan, Germany will procure guided missiles for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) and 170 missiles for the Patriot air defense missile system will be upgraded.

Currently, the German army has a total of 38 MARS (M270) MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). In July 2019, U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 50 Patriot Advanced Capability missiles, plus parts and support, to Germany at an estimated cost of $401 million.

The Missile Segment Enhancement upgrade consists of the PAC-3 missile, an interceptor, a fire solution computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System. The missile system uses a solid propellant rocket motor, aerodynamic controls, attitude control motors, and inertial guidance to navigate.

Germany also seeks to purchase PAC-3 MSE shorting plugs, missile canister consumables, missile skid kits, PAC-3 MSE repair and return, and missile field surveillance program for PAC-3 MSE.

The MARS 2 / LRU is a European upgrade of American-made M270 for Germany, Italy, and France. The MARS 2 is equipped with a new fire control system (EFCS - European Fire Control System) designed par Airbus Defense and Space. EFCS enables firing of M31, M31A1, M32, AT2, and 110 mm rockets, but not of M26, M26A1, and M30, so as to ensure full compliance with the Convention on Cluster Munitions. With the new guided rocket, the German MARS has a maximum firing range of 80 km.

The upgraded Patriot PAC-3 MSE expands the lethal battlespace with a dual-pulse solid rocket motor, providing increased performance in altitude and range. PAC-3 MSE is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. The missile uses Hit-to-Kill technology, which engages threats through kinetic energy via body-to-body contact.