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MARS - Steel Rain

Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek tackles the new Trumpeter kit.

Designed by the Vought Corporation in 1977, the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) was developed jointly by the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Italy and France. Since the first batch was delivered to the US Army in 1983, the MLRS has been adopted by several NATO countries. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured in the US and Europe, along with over 700,000 rockets. Production ended in 2003, when the final batch was delivered to the Egyptian Army.

A development of the earlier General Support Rocket System (GSRS), the M270 weapons system is collectively known as the M270 MLRS Self-Propelled Loader/Launcher (SPLL). This is composed of the M269 Loader/ Launcher Module (LLM), which also houses the Electronic Fire Control System (EFCS), and mated to the M993 Carrier Vehicle (a derivative of the M2/M3 Bradley chassis). The weapon can fire both guided and unguided projectiles, with a maximum range of 42km. It also has the capability of firing ballistic missiles (such as the US Army Tactical Missile System), with a range of 300km. The warhead in such shots reaches an altitude of around 50km.

The M270 has been given various interesting nicknames: the US military often refer to it as ‘the commander’s personal shotgun’, or ‘battlefield buckshot’, and even ‘gypsy wagon’ (because of the large amount of equipment stowed on top of the vehicle).

1
2

A common name within the British Army is ‘grid square removal system’ (a play on the initials ‘GSRS’). With the adoption of the new M30 GPS-guided rocket, it has now acquired the nickname ‘70-kilometre sniper rifle’. A further name (no doubt reflecting a fear of the small M77 sub-munitions rockets), the Iraqis during the 1991 Gulf War referred to it as ‘steel rain’.

1 Assembly began with the chassis… a straightforward operation.

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About Military Modelcraft International

MODERN ARMOUR SPECIAL Inside this issue we talk about modelling and reference on contemporary AFVs.