Over 100 artillery rockets were launched June 16 at White Sands Missile Range to test an improved version of the M270A1 Multiple Rocket Launch System.
The test, conducted at WSMR’s G-16 impact area, saw an M270A1 MLRS vehicle equipped with a new armored cab fire 138 rockets to ensure the improvements didn’t negatively impact the vehicle’s mission performance.
“The number to be shot is equivalent of a normal high-op tempo operation,” said Maj. Jaime Santiago, assistant product manager at the Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems Project Office. “The platform is supposed to prove out the capability and ensure the new upgrades have not degraded that capability.”
The M270A1 is a tracked vehicle equipped with a missile and rocket launch rack capable of firing many different kinds of artillery rockets and missiles. This makes the vehicle a highly-capable weapons platform, able to perform many different artillery missions in support of many different Army and joint operations. With the original system adopted in 1983, and an improved version in 2001, the MLRS has proven itself in several different armed conflicts, including Operation Desert Shield and Storm, as well as more recently Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As armed conflict has evolved so have the requirements of systems like the MLRS, while it’s seen several upgrades to improve its ability to put rockets and missiles on target, recent conflicts have shown a need to improve the protection the vehicle provides its crew. The Improved Armored Cab project under the Precisions Fires Rockets and Missile Systems Project office is expected to meet this goal by proving the vehicle with an enhanced armor on the cab and improving related components, like the windows.