Multiple Launch Rocket System M2701-5

M270: General
Date of first acceptance 1982 Total acceptances 857
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Crew
3 men:
  • Section chief in cab
  • Gunner in cab
  • Driver in cab
M270: Dimensions
Combat weight 52,990lbs
Height with launcher stowed 102"
Length 274.5"
Width 117"
Tread 96"
Ground clearance 17"
Ground pressure, zero penetration 7.4psi
M270: Armament
Type Mount Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
12 M26 rockets
2 M39 ATACMS missiles
Rocket launcher M269 194° left or right from stowed position 5°/sec +60° max .84°/sec
M270: Armor
7039 aluminum armor
5083 aluminum armor
M270: Automotive
Engine Cummins VTA-903T; 8 cylinder, 4 cycle, vee, turbosupercharged diesel
Horsepower Gross: 500@2,600 rpm Torque Gross: 1,025 ft-lb@2,350rpm Fuel capacity 163gal
Transmission General Electric HMPT-500 hydromechanical, automatic range selection
Steering Hydrostatic, steering yoke
Brakes Multiple plate, oil cooled
M270: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 2 dual/track, 2 single/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
11-tooth front drive Dual adjustable at rear of track On first 2 and last road wheels/track
M270: Track
Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad
Width 21"
Pitch 6"
Shoes/track Left side: 89
Right side: 88
Ground contact length 170.5"
M270: Performance
Max level road speed 40mph
Max trench 91.2"
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 30"
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 40"
Cruising range ~300mi, roads
~480km, roads

The M993 carrier for the MLRS is based on components of the M2 and M3 Bradley fighting vehicles. The ground contact length was extended, and the road wheels were grouped in three pairs. An extra return roller was added as well. The cab was provided with armored glass windows, and these were covered with armored shutters. The engine is located under the cab, and the cab can be pivoted to the front to allow access to the powerpack components. The carrier vehicle was provided with an NBC overpressure system. The first, fifth, and sixth road wheels stations were provided with a lock-out feature for use during firing and reloading. The rocket launcher loader module, designed by the Vought Corporation, holds two pods, with either six 227mm M26 rockets or one Army tactical missile system each. The rocket or missile pods are loaded via integral booms and hoists. The booms can reach out 15'4" (467cm) at a max rate of 5.98"/sec (15.2cm/sec) and the hoists can lift 8'4" (254cm) at up to 2.99"/sec (7.59cm/sec).

The M270A1 incorporates upgrades in the fire control system and mechanical launch system. The M270A1 will also fire extended-range rockets. M270A1s were first fielded in September 2000.

The M26 rockets carry payloads of bomblets or mines, including 644 M77 submunitions, 26 AT2 antitank mines, or six SADARM submunitions, and have a range of ~32km (~20mi). The first M39 ATACMS were accepted in March 1990. These have a range of ~100km (~60mi) and carry a payload of M74 or BAT submunitions. Without the removable skids, each six-rocket launch pod/container loaded with M77 warheads is 158" (401cm) long, 41" (105cm) wide, 28" (71cm) tall, and weighs 5,005lb (2,270kg).




  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Bradley: A History of American Fighting and Support Vehicles. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1999. Reprinted with permission from Bradley, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1999, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  2. TM 9-1425-646-10 Operator's Manual Launcher, Rocket, Armored Vehicle Mounted: M270 (1055-01-092-0596) Multiple Launch Rocket System. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 20 June 1984.
  3. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  4. Federation of American Scientists. "M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System - MLRS." DOD 101. 22 Feb 2000. 27 Sep 2001 <>. DOD 101
  5. Net Resources International. "Army Technology - MLRS - Multiple Launch Rocket System." Army Technology. 22 Jun 2001 <>.
Last updated 6 Feb 2014.
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