The war of Russian aggression in Ukraine is one of the biggest proving grounds for modern weapons technology. Most drone technologies, for example, have been creeping along waiting to grant true validation to their product. Then along comes a war and, politics permitting, they now have the pristine probability to launch their weapons against all diﬀerent armor targets and, not meaning to sound crass but, killing people. Unfortunately, war is business with a single driver — inflicting harm on humans in the most efficient way.
There’s the bottom line; I’m pretty sure I said it out loud, so there’s no taking it back. The equation is simple enough: if your Multiple Rocket Launch System (MRLS), for example, inflict more casualties than my MLRS… then, ultimately, I want your MLRS on my side in combat so I can win the war. There really is no other avenue to winning a war.
The Multiple Launch Rockets weapon
The Multiple Launch Rocket weapon draws its roots from the WWII Russian Katusha weapons. The basic system was a truck-pulled multiple-launch rocket payload of as many as 24 rockets per launcher. It was known to make a hellish racket when launched such that it garnered several nicknames from all sides of the war. The most prolific of the names, based on the monstrous racket the weapon emitted at launch, was “Moaning Meme.” The sounds struck absolute and lingering dread in the enemies on the recipient end.
Earlier MLRs were “fire and forget” weapons, which meant firing and forgetting if the rockets struck their targets or not. They were area weapons designed to (in the case of some) saturate an entire grid square (1,000m x 1,000m) with high explosives thereby destroying and demoralizing the enemy, and denying him that entire grid square parcel of land to operate in.
These MLRs were not guided munitions, nor were they ballistic rockets or missiles. Instead, they were of the Free Rocket Over Ground (FROG) class. FROG weapons are designed to strike their target or fly until they run out of fuel and kiss the dirt, much like the Nazi V-1 and V-2 Vergeltungswaﬀen used to attack and terrorize the citizens of Paris in WWII.
Surface-to-surface rockets generally belong to the artillery, according to the U.S. Army’s oﬃcial Order of Battle (OB). (In the Order of Battle one would find the order of not only MLRS but other rockets, too.)
There are many surface-to-surface rocket systems and one of our top ones is going into action in the Ukrainian War.
Enter the HIMARS
The M124 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a multiple rocket launcher developed by Lockheed Martin. It offers combinations of ground mobility chassis such as pneumatic-wheeled M-270 trucks and the MLRS-type caterpillar-tracked chassis that are capable of being configured in many different launch setups.
HIMARS can fire a combination of ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missiles, GMLRS rockets, and Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) rockets which have maximum range of approximately 300 miles — praise the Creator!
As exemplified by the HIMARS, the economy of multi-role weapons is clear.
Even in our national economy multi-purpose is fully recognized and perhaps one day will even be mandatory:
“Hey, Bill… do you think while you’re not brewing beer, Pak’s laundry down the street could use your fermentation vats to wash about 4,000 pairs of socks and trousers — five percent gratuity!”
By Almighty God and with honor — Slava Ukraïni
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