Forces of Valor 80222 US M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) - Unidentified Unit, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003 (1:32 Scale)
"We will carry out a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility ... and by the application of overwhelming force."
- CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks commenting on the conduct of Operation: Iraqi Freedom, March 21st, 2003
The MLRS M270 Launcher, a derivative of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV), is the standard U.S. Army platform for firing surface to surface artillery rockets and missiles. The Armored Vehicle Mounted Rocket Launcher (M270) is a full-tracked, self-propelled launcher/loader designed to launch 12 tactical rockets and re-deploy before the enemy determines its launch position ('shoot and scoot'). The launch platform is also used to launch the Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS) and is capable of launching all M270 Family of Munitions (MFOM) tactical rocket/missile variants. The launcher consists of six rockets, each of which are mounted and controlled in both azimuth and elevation. It has an automated control system for aiming that automatically corrects for launcher cant and ambient temperature, a directional reference system to obtain azimuth elevation and cant angles, and a FCS which is operated from a man-rated vehicle cab. The launcher platform structure provides a "self-loading" capability.
The M270 launcher has a maximum speed of 64 Km/hour, with a maximum range of 435 Km. It is capable of climbing a 60 degree slope and a one meter wall. Ordnance options include the MFOM (all variants of the MLRS rocket and Army TACMS missile). The M270 can load, arm, and fire a 12 rocket ripple within ripple within five minutes. M270 launchers are deployed three per battery and 29 per battalion. The M270 launcher can be configured for transport by Air Force C-141 aircraft on a limited basis. The M270 launcher is also transportable by Air Force C-5 and C-17 aircraft.
MLRS consists of a self-loading launcher with an onboard fire control system (FCS). The launcher is mounted on a mobile track vehicle that carries 12 rockets or 2 Army Tactical Missile System (Army TACMS) missiles, which can be fired individually or simultaneously. Rockets have a range beyond 30 kilometers, and the Army TACMS Block IA missile can reach to 300 kilometers.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale replica of a US M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) used during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Features rotating rocket battery, elevating tubes and loads of accessories.
Length: 8 inches
Width: 3.5 inches
Height: 3 inches
Release Date: May 2006
Historical Account: "Steel Rain" - The 2003 operation in Iraq, termed "Operation Iraqi Freedom" by the US administration, began on March 20th. It was originally coined "Operation Iraqi Liberation". The United States and the United Kingdom supplied 98% of the invading forces. They co-operated with Kurdish forces in the north which numbered upwards of 50,000. Other nations also participated in part of a coalition force to help with the operation by providing equipment, services and security as well as Special Forces. The 2003 Iraq invasion marked the beginning of what is commonly referred to as the Iraq War.
Prior to the invasion, the United States' official position was that Iraq illegally possessed weapons of mass destruction in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and had to be disarmed by force.
President George W. Bush stated Saddam's weapons of mass destruction needed to be disarmed, and the Iraqi people were to have control of their own country restored to them. UN inspection teams were searching Iraq for these alleged weapons for nearly four months prior to the invasion and were willing to continue, but were forced out by the onset of war in spite of their requests for more time.
The Bush administration did not attempt to get a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military force, as France, Russia, and later China all signaled that they would use their Security Council veto power against any resolution that would include an ultimatum allowing the use of force against Iraq. On March 20th, 2003, the invasion of Iraq began. This was seen by many as a violation of international law, breaking the UN Charter (see Legitimacy of the 2003 invasion of Iraq). The Iraqi military was defeated, and Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. On May 1st, 2003, President Bush declared the end of major combat operations, terminating the Baath Party's rule and removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from office. Coalition forces ultimately captured Saddam Hussein on December 13th, 2003.
Numerous guerrilla and terrorist groups are active in the area, including one newly-formed called al-Qaeda in Iraq. Legislative elections were held in January 2005.