Home Europe Finland becomes first extended range GMLRS rocket customer

Finland becomes first extended range GMLRS rocket customer

Finland ER GMLRS test launch
Finland tested the ER GMLRS in 2020. Photo: Finnish Army

The Finnish defense ministry has approved the purchase of Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) munition, becoming the first foreign customer for the new capability.

Finland’s Ministerial Finance Committee signed off on the procurement of ER GMLRS unitary and alternative warheads in a session on February 10.

The new munitions will significantly improve the performance of the GMLRS and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems in service with the Finnish Army.

As explained, the new rockets will enable the more efficient use of heavy rocket launchers Finland purchased in 2006 and they will diversify the range of munition used by the systems. Finland will be able to use the guided rockets because of the M270 fire control system upgrade that was completed between 2012 and 2015.

Finland is procuring the rockets after the US State Department approved the possible purchase of up to 25 ER GMLRS alternative warheads and 10 unitary warheads to Finland in a deal that was estimated at around $91.2 million.

The procurement that was approved by Finland this week has an overall value of about EUR 70 million, with deliveries set to start in 2025.

According to the Finnish defense ministry, the range of the new munitions is some 150 kilometers. Lockheed Martin, the rocket developer, completed an 80-kilometer flight demonstration of the ER GMLRS at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, in March 2021.