Finnish Ministry of Defence announced that it approved a plan of acquiring the Guided MLRS missiles. The scope of procurement covers both high-explosive, as well as “alternative” warheads, with the latter ones used to attack targets scattered over the larger areas.
Consent for acquisition of the GMLRS missiles has been granted by the Finnish Defence Minister, Jussi Niinistö. The procurement is going to be realized within the Foreign Military Sales procedure, via the US Government. Both Unitary high-explosive warheads (used to attack single-point targets), as well as alternative warheads (used to strike targets scattered across a larger area, acting in line with a principle, which is the same as the one governing the use of the cluster warheads), the purpose of which is to attack light armoured vehicles, command posts and air defence system locations, will be acquired.
The whole procurement is to be covered with an amount of ca. EUR 70 million. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2016 and 2018. The missiles will be used with the MLRS launchers, purchased from the Netherlands back in 2006, after they had been withdrawn from the operational use by the Dutch. The systems were modernized, within the period between 2012 and 2015. The announcement issued by the Finish MoD suggests that the procurement will make it possible to get rid of a “capability gap”, once Helsinki signed the Ottawa Treaty back in 2012.
According to the request disclosed by the US State Department last year, Finland was willing to acquire 90 high explosive warhead rockets and 150 examples of projectiles with the Alternative Warhead system. Maximum range of both variants of the GMLRS weapons system is defined as 70 kilometres. These missiles are also an element of the HIMARS system offered for the Polish Army by the Lockheed Martin company, within the scope of the Homar (Lobster) programme. Homar programme realized by the Polish Ministry of Defence is to provide the Polish Army with a multiple rocket launch system, expanding the capabilities possessed by the artillery units.