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M270 MLRS MARS II from Germany has arrived in Ukraine

According to a tweet posted on August 1 by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, "Third brother in the Long Hand family - MLRS MARS II from Germany - has arrived in Ukraine".
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M270 MLRS/MARS II of the Bundeswehr/German army (Picture source: KMW)

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked Germany and personally his German counterpart, Christine Lambrecht, for these systems: "Our artillerymen salute our German partners!" he said. On June 23, Reznikov already said that American HIMARS systems had arrived in Ukraine. On July 15, he said that Ukraine had received the first long-range M270 multiple launch rocket systems.

The M270 MLRS has been used in Germany since 1990 under the name MARS: medium artillery rocket system. With MARS, different types of ammunition can be fired over distances of 10 to 40 km.

MARS II/MLRS-E and the new ammunition GMLRS (Guided Multiple-Launch Rocket System)

The development and procurement of the modern GMLRS rockets required an increase in the combat effectiveness of the MLRS launchers, which are now known under the name MARS II/MLRS-E. MARS II/MLRS-E in combination with GMLRS enables high-precision engagement of point and single targets (artillery sniper weapon).

In cooperation with various European partners, KMW carried out the upgrade and modernization for several nations:
Germany: from MARS to MARS II/MLRS-E
Italy: from MLRS to MLRS Improved
France: from MLRS to Lance Roquette Unitaire (LRU)

Individual measures of combat value increase

• Integration of the European Fire Control System (EFCS) with the additional functionality to launch guided GMLRS missiles.
• Replacement of the outdated hydraulic straightening drives with an electric straightening system (Electrical Launch Drive System – ELDS) developed by KMW, which enables fast straightening and reduces the previous maintenance and repair costs compared to the hydraulic system.
• Installation of fully automatic halon and CFC-free fire extinguishing system with the fire extinguishing agent nitrogen for the engine compartment. It enables automatic fire monitoring and firefighting, even up to 24 hours after the MARS II/MLRS-E launcher has been switched off. In contrast to the other two measures to increase combat effectiveness, this retrofit package is currently only used in Germany and Italy.

The MARS II/MLRS-E system is prepared for further additional capability expansions.

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