Last week, the U.S. government has approved the potential sale of Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and related equipment to Finland.
According to the U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon’s top arms broker, a possible deal, which covers 25 M30A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems – Alternative Warhead (ER GMLRS-AW) Pods and 10 M31A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems – Unitary (ER GMLRS-U) pods, has an estimated value of $91.2 million.
According to a Department release, the deal includes an ER GMLRS Materiel Release Package; Stockpile Reliability Program (SRP) support; Quality Assurance Testing (QAT) services; technical publications; U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of program and logistics support.
“Finland intends to use these defence articles and services to modernize its armed forces,” the DSCA notice says. “Finland intends to expand its existing army architecture to counter potential threats.”
It is also important to note that DSCA said the principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, Missile and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, TX.
As noted by Lockheed Martin, ER GMLRS is a new developmental variation of the Guided MLRS family, ER GMLRS offers an extended range out to 150 kilometers in all weather conditions. ER GMLRS shares significant commonality with legacy Guided MLRS, and is deployable by HIMARS and the MLRS M270 family of launchers.
The rounds incorporate a larger motor and have enhanced maneuverability due to tail-driven control.
The Guided MLRS family is a surface-to-surface system used to attack, neutralize, suppress and destroy targets using indirect precision fires. GMLRS munitions have greater accuracy than ballistic rockets with a higher probability of kill and a reduced logistics footprint.
GMLRS rockets were utilized extensively in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom and continue to provide field artillery support in Overseas Contingency Operations. Development efforts include modifying GMLRS to extend the maximum range and incorporating a side-mounted proximity sensor to improve area effects.