Ukraine is begging the US for these "super-missiles"

What are these “magic” systems that should turn the tide of hostilities, according to the Ukrainian


Table of contents

  • MLRS and what they eat with
  • American MLRS
  • Features and comparison

The Ukrainian segment of the Internet is widely discussinga package of new deliveries, where American MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) are especially awaited. And this is despite the fact that the Ukrainians have already received more than a hundred high-precision self-propelled and towed 155 mm howitzers. The M270 MLRS (MLRS is the same as the MLRS) and M142 HIMARS systems are considered by many to be of decisive importance, therefore they are asked to be sent first.

Americans are still thinking, a decisive "yes" onthe full (and not the pathetic 4 pcs HIMARS, as at the moment) delivery volume is not yet available. Perhaps the whole point is that a huge part of the same M777 came without digital firmware, which allows you to shoot ultra-long-range and high-precision ammunition. But the fact is that without such firmware, howitzers work at the level of the Russian Msta, that is, they do not give a radical advantage.

American M777 howitzers are already in Ukraine, but do not solve all problems

This is especially important for counter-battery combat,when some howitzers deftly destroy their counterparts in the enemy camp, this sharply weakens the offensive capabilities, and subsequently makes it possible to seize the initiative. Having not received the full effect from howitzers, the Ukrainians are now counting on the MLRS - they say, with this weapon they will certainly solve the issue.

Today we understand what kind of weapon it is and how it differs from Russian counterparts.

MLRS and what they eat with

MLRS, in a simple way - Katyusha.Well, this is where a lot of rockets are loaded in a pack, they shoot one after another at once, cover a large area in a few seconds, when covering at once, the chances of destroying targets without careful adjustment and sighting are higher - Katyusha.

The way to explain complex things is simply we borrowed from this gentleman

Of course, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since World War II -then these were primitive rockets flying "somewhere there." By principle, it was closer to mortars, therefore, parts on the BM-13 Katyusha (but in fact there were more systems) were attributed to mortars, guards mortars. At that time, it was more of a deterrent weapon, because low accuracy and a weak warhead gave so-so efficiency. But, having mixed with conventional artillery, these things broke the psyche of the enemy soldiers and multiplied the fighting spirit by zero.

Now MLRS is not even quite MLRS, becausesalvo function is no longer required. Having pumped missiles with brains, scouting targets from UAVs, you can hit very accurately even with one missile! The warheads of the missiles are also very diverse - they include powerful high-explosive fragmentation, cluster (scattering many small submunitions on group targets), scatter mines under the noses of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles or cumulative bombs on their roofs.

In fact, the MLRS today is a tactical missileshort range complex. If the early systems of the BM-21 Grad type were thrown anywhere for 20-odd kilometers, today the distances for the MLRS are 40-90 km, and the heavy Russian Tornado-S systems, according to official data, reach up to 120 km.



Thus, MLRS can cover the enemyarea, replacing several battalions of cannon artillery with one battery at once, and they can also snipe specific positions and communications in the rear. In general, it is an irreplaceable thing that solves such a wide range of tasks on the modern battlefield that barrel artillery smokes nervously.

Of the minuses - they load the logistics very mucha chain (well, estimate how much space in the Urals one Grad or Uragan missile will take, and how much - a shot to a barrel howitzer), and also do not forget that missile launches are well recorded by detection systems - so peppy maneuvering is required.

We have already analyzed Russian systems in more detail in this article, so today we will not repeat ourselves and talk about a specific current situation.

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American MLRS


According to such systems during the years of the Cold War, there was a serious imbalance in favor of the USSR, which in the 80s had three systems at once:

  • light hail— 20-25,000 meters

  • medium hurricane— 40,000 meters

  • heavy tornado— 70,000 meters (the latest, produced since 1987)

The Americans preferred accurate fireartillery, although they had their own MLRS in World War II, but since then they have hardly developed. Albeit belatedly, but at some point the brains in the Pentagon realized - “but we don’t have MLRS!”. They say that the USSR will be able to cover our artillery positions with a volley with minimal location data, but we, in general, have nothing to answer this with.

The issue was resolved by developing the M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System).


M270— multiple launch rocket system with 12 launch guides for 227 mm caliber missiles, divided into two launch containers of 6 each. RocketM21flew 32 km, later the damage radius was increased to 45 km. One of the containers could be converted to launch one rocketATACMS, which, depending on the modification and warhead, flew at a distance of 165 - 300 km.

It turned out something like a two-in-one cocktail, and MLRS, and a tactical / operational-tactical missile system.

In the early 2000s it was modernized toM270 A1- added the M31 rocket, which was already flying at 70000 meters, and the fire control system with GPS could even launch it into bin Laden’s ass at a specific target with high accuracy. The missile had several detonation modes - it could be detonated in the air over exposed manpower, or it could be detonated straight at the target. With this functionality, it was safer to launch missiles (so as not to be caught in return fire), and most importantly, the load on supplies was greatly lightened.

Also in recent years, control and guidance systems have been updated several times:


  • M142 HIMARS- the same in terms of capabilities, but changedplatform for equipping rapid deployment forces. The M142 can be easily transported in a C-130, as it is a one-by-6 launch container that is mounted on the frame of a standard Army truck.

This is a more flexible system - today it hasthey are even testing a medium-range air defense variant. In 2017, the US Marine Corps fired a salvo of HIMARS directly from the deck of a transport ship, having worked out the targets perfectly. With new firmware, it is already possible to work even from a maneuvering and unstable (sea rolling) platform.

In fact, the Marine Corps, as a rapid reaction force, became the patrimony of such a system, and the M270 remained an army option.

Features and comparison

Occupies an intermediate position in power betweenour counterparts Hurricane and Tornado. Tornado is inferior to the power of the warhead, and after upgrading this system to Tornado-S, it is also inferior in range (except for the option with ATACMS). But Russia was armed with only 100 Smerch launchers and 20 of their upgrades Tornado-S, and older Uragan systems - about 200 (and 700 in storage).

MLRS work

But the United States has, taking into account storage, 991M270 system (not counting licensed analogues), of which more than 220 have been upgraded to level A1 and 414 M142 systems. At the same time, a certain number are in service with European countries and other allies.

If they are included in the assistance package, Ukraine can count on a couple of hundred launchers of both systems, of which several dozen will be upgraded to the A1 version and, possibly, with containers of ATACMS launchers.