The Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) provides counterfire, suppression of enemy air defenses and destruction of light and personnel targets. The MLRS delivers large volumes of firepower in a short time against critical, time-sensitive targets. The basic rocket warhead carries dual-purpose, improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions. The MLRS, however, is capable of supporting and delivering all of the MLRS family of munitions (MFOM), including the Army tactical missile system (ATACMS) variants. Growth programs are under way to extend the range and accuracy of rockets and missiles and to upgrade the launcher fire-control and mechanical systems.

The U.S. initial operational capability for the MLRS was achieved in 1983. Starting in FY 1989, the MLRS has been coproduced by the United States, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. As of June 8, 2004, the United States had procured 880 M270-family and 52 high-mobility artillery system (HIMARS) launchers.

Two parallel enhancement programs have been directed toward the M270 tracked MLRS launcher: the M270 improved position determining system (IPDS) and the M270A1 upgrade.

The M270 IPDS program was an interim upgrade applied to a select number of launchers to provide the ability to fire the longer-range GPS-aided ATACMS Block IA, quick reaction unitary and Block II missiles until sufficient M270A1 launchers are fielded. The modification kit features the IPDS line replaceable unit (LRU) with an embedded GPS receiver. The new LRU replaces the improved stabilization reference package/positioning determining system (ISRP/PDS) LRU found in the current M270 launchers. Other components of the IPDS modification include a 4-mega-byte electronics unit (twice the M270's capacity); GPS antenna, data transfer device and associated cables; expanded hoist bumpers for ATACMS Block IA missile pod hang angles; and additional training and maintenance equipment.

Lockheed Martin is under contract and has incorporated two new upgrades to the current MLRS system. The new M270A1 launcher appears identical to existing M270s while incorporating an improved fire-control system (IFCS) and an improved launcher mechanical system (ILMS).

The IFCS allows for more sophisticated munitions and reduces operating costs. The IFCS upgrade includes a new fire-control panel with video, a full keyboard, a gigabyte of program storage and GPS navigation. With distributed multiprocessor technology, the IFCS is able to process large blocks of data from new smart munitions within tactical time lines. Operating and maintenance costs are reduced by 38 percent because of the greater reliability and ease of repair on IFCS parts. The new system meets requirements for the first digitized corps and allows for future growth, being capable of firing future munitions and having a greater capacity to expand situational awareness.

The ILMS dramatically reduces the time needed to aim and reload the launcher. In a typical fire mission, the ILMS-equipped launcher is six times faster than the current M270 launcher, with reload time decreased by more than 38 percent.

Crew and launcher survivability are greatly enhanced by decreasing total exposure time on the battlefield. The new system reduces operations and support (O&S) costs by 38 percent while incorporating state-of-the-art electronics and embedded global positioning and inertial navigation systems.

Procurement of the M270A1 began in 1999. A confidence demonstration was successfully completed in 2000. Systems integration testing and extended systems integration testing of software were successfully completed in 2001, with all exit criteria being met or exceeded.

In 2000, the Army accepted delivery of the first M270A1 low-rate initial production (LRIP) launcher. To date, five MLRS battalions have been equipped with M270A1 launchers. The entire MLRS family of munitions, including the MLRS M26 rocket, extended-range rocket, reduced-range practice rocket, guided MLRS rockets, ATACMS Block I, ATACMS Block IA, ATACMS Block II and ATACMS quick-reaction unitary have been successfully fired from the M270A1. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article



Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.