Britain will send M270 multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine to aid its defense against the Russian invasion.
The government said on Monday it would train Ukrainian troops on the use of new launchers in Britain, in addition to supplying M31A1 munitions at scale.
These systems will enable Ukrainians to strike Russian targets at ranges of up to 80 kilometers.
“These highly capable multiple-launch rocket systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery, which (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities,” UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said.
The UK announcement on the transfer of these long-range systems comes after the United States said it would supply M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine. US president Joe Biden revealed this decision last week after receiving assurances from Ukraine that it would not hit targets on Russian territory.
The transfer of M270 MLRS would the latest in a long range of military aid Britain has so far supplied to Ukraine. These include thousands of New Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAWs), Javelin anti-tank missiles, Starstreak anti-air missiles, as well as ammunition and explosives.
A total of three M270 MLRS, that can fire 12 surface-to-surface missiles in less than a minute, are reportedly being sent to Ukraine. The UK is currently upgrading a number of its launchers to be capable of launching GMLRS-ER (extended range) missiles, which will extend the reach from 80 to 150km. The updated launchers will also be able to fire the US Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) which has a range of 499km and is expected to be in British Army service from 2024.
The UK’s announcement follows reports that Spain was ready to send Leopard tanks and Aspide surface-to air missile systems to Ukraine.