On April 29, the US Department of Defense announced that it had signed two agreements with Lockheed Martin for both M270A2 and M142 artillery rocket launcher programs. Interestingly, the funds also include an export order.

As part of the first of these, the manufacturer is to continue the modernization of M270 MLRS tracked launchers to the M270A2 standard. The contract is worth US $ 224 million and includes a combined order – some of the funds come from the budget of the US Army (main user) and the UK (via the FMS procedure). Considering the value, the work will include approximately 40 launchers. Deliveries are to be made by April 2026. In the case of the US Army, this is the next tranche of M270, which will be modernized – ultimately it will include 385 launchers (225 A1 and 160 A0, which are in reserve equipment). The British signed an intergovernmental LoA agreement in March 2021 – it includes the modification of 44 M270s, which are to be sent in tranches to Lockheed Martin plants in 2022-2025. The program will keep them in line until 2050.

As part of the modernization program, M270A2 launchers receive new propulsion units, redesigned crew cabins (equipped with seats absorbing energy from mines and improvised explosives, as well as improved ergonomics of the on-board equipment location) and the CFCS fire control system, which is to allow the launcher to be integrated with the new types of ammunition.

The second contract, worth USD 205 million, concerns the continuation of production of the M142 HIMARS launchers along with packages of spare parts. At the time of signing, the first tranche of funds in the amount of USD 81.3 million was released. The order is to be completed at the end of April 2025. The entire amount comes from the budget of the US Department of Defense. The above launchers are a popular type of weapon in the US armed forces and a growing number of export customers – in October 2020, Lockheed Martin celebrated the delivery of the 500th serial copy.