The UK defense ministry revealed it would be sending an additional three M270 multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine to improve its defensive capabilities in the wake of the Russian invasion.
In addition to doubling the number of launchers, UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said Britain would also give a “significant number” of precision guided M31A1 missiles which can strike targets up to 80km away, enabling Ukraine to continue to defend itself against Russian heavy artillery.
The decision comes following the successful use of multiple-launch rocket systems by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, gifted by the UK earlier this year.
In addition to UK systems, Ukraine is also operating the HIMARS systems supplied by the US and German MARS systems. Norway has also agreed to send three M270 but it is unclear whether they have been shipped to Ukraine.
“This latest tranche of military support will enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue to defend against Russian aggression and the indiscriminate use of long-range artillery,” defense secretary Wallace said.
“Our continued support sends a very clear message, Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion.”
Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK on how to use the launchers so that they can maximize the effectiveness of the systems. This is in addition to the UK’s commitment to train up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in infantry battlefield skills over the coming months. Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands have all announced they will be supporting the program.
The MLRS is a mobile automatic system that fires 12 surface-to-surface missiles in less than a minute.