Rocket artillery is a type of weapon used by land and naval forces to attack land targets. The use of modern rocket artillery started during World War II and by the early 70s, the Soviet Union was using Multiple Rocket Launchers that would saturate targets with several rockets. It was then that NATO allies decided to develop their own multi-launcher system. The name adopted for this was the Multiple Launch Rocket System, known as MLRS today.
MLRS is a mobile system widely used by NATO. For the European MLRS Fire Control SW, Airbus developed the (European) Fire Control System (EFCS), which is currently fielded in Germany, France and Italy.
Airbus EFCS is the Fire Control System that provides the MLRS with the ability to launch various types of ammunition (ground to ground) with a range of up to 80 km with a very high precision.
The EFCS is able to interface with the corresponding command system of the higher echelons, exchanging the corresponding data, messages, reports, orders and commands. And it offers a full set of supporting equipment for training, test, maintenance and simulators.
Currently in development is the next generation Common Launcher Platform, which will allow launching not only ground-to-ground rockets, but also ground-to-air rockets.
And what about the long-term?
Developments for systems to launch small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), which will be significantly smaller than UAVs, like HERON TP or EUROHAWK, and will be mid-term enhancements of the future EFCS. Systems will become lighter in order to enable the launcher to change the location after firing much faster than today. Increasing precision will also be key to any future system. And in terms of training, the use of virtual reality will be required to enable the system to interface with a Synthetic Battlefield Environment.