Artillery: Finns Find The GPS Religion


May 28, 2011: Finland is upgrading its 22 American M270 MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) vehicles. The upgrades will cost about $2 million per vehicle. The main improvement is a new fire control system, one that will allow the vehicles to use GMLRS (GPS guided) rockets. The 22 ton tracked MLRS carries two firing containers, each carrying six rockets of guided, or unguided, rockets.

The 309 kg (680 pound) GMLRS (guided multiple launch rocket system) missile is a GPS guided 227mm rocket that entered service seven years ago. It was designed to have a range of 70 kilometers and the ability to land within ten meters (31 feet) of its intended target, at any range. This is possible because it uses GPS (plus a back up inertial guidance system) to find its target. Three years ago, the U.S. Army tested GMLRS at max range (about 85 kilometers) and found that it worked fine.  Most are fitted with a 89 kg (196 pound) high explosive warhead. The GMLRS has proved so successful in combat that the unguided rockets are no longer being bought for American MLRS vehicles.



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