But like I've said, the M270 won't be the same distance from the Smerch, it'd be farther from the Smerch than the Smerch can fire from. Thus the Smerch becomes useless. I've also stated that you can fit 3 configurations for the M270, 12 rockets, 2 missiles, or 6 rockets and 1 missile. Jack of all trades, it is, kill a Grad, bomb the Smerch, safe from all BM-series. Like I've said, Russia will not use Smerch or Tender if a Chinese tank rush occurs in Far Eastern Siberia. They'd use Tornado and it's rapid reload capability to spam guided AT munitions in and around where the Chinese tanks are. That rapid reload capability is something the BM-series nor the Tochka/Tender has, but the M270 does have. The M270 is like a Swiss knife and the BM-series/Tochka/Tender are like everything in it. Multi-purpose, flexible, gold-plated tube arty; but still best arty.
Dear Ironsight < MLRS or Multiple Launch ROCKET System is a system launching ROCKETS to bring destruction to a remote location in an aerial manner. It is not a point precision weapon. As said you can't use a shotgun to hit a target one and half kilometer away. For that you have sniper rifle. And when it comes to costs. The total cost of ownership is what matters. And TCS include not just the unit price, ammo price and maintenance price. You forgot one veeery important expense and that is DEVELOPMENT price. Previously US Army was using lance and pership weapons as surface to surface precision missiles. In USSR it was Tochka system. Nowadays your army have got a briliant idea of converting an MLRS M270 into a precision weapon. While in Russia Tochka was upgraded and developed into nearly similar missile system with greatly enhanced capabilities called Iskander or previously reffered to as Tender. Can you imagine the development cost of a missile with the size of Lance and its capabilities to fit the M270 launching rail? I can tell you the development costs were several times higher than the costs of developing iskander from tochka, which are nearly the same systems except the updated navigation systems, fcs and missile engine. Im not counting the vehicle chasis as this was not developed for this system rather reused just like the m270 wich was derived from bradley. If you count in the development costs into equation suddenly the combination of Tender and BM-30 Smerch is becomming more efficient.
Now lets compare the BM-30 and MLRS systems without any other units additional support shall we? MLRS system without netcentric warfare is absolutely blind system. It needs an input from other units regarding its targets. This is not the case for BM-30 Smerch which can launch its UAV rocket to scan the possible presence area for targets and then launch a surprise attack INDEPENDENTLY from any other unit. This alone is a huge plus for Smerch. As far as i know the ATACMS needs a coordinates of the target, it cannot be launched completely blindly because it does not have a seeker head to use in terminal homing phase. Correct me if im wrong. Now m270 being multipurpose might not be a bad thing from the perspective of cost. In the enviroment of american military industrial complex it is certainly a more cost efficient option than having 2 separate systems. However compared to Russian or Chinese cost of work, when Russia have 2 independent systems for 2 completely separate tasks - the chances are that the Russian solution will be still muuuch more cheaper than the american one. Remember the T-90 is half the price of abrams, or a Vikhr ATGM missile is 1/8 of the price of Hellfire and when fired in a double shot - meaning 2 vikhrs at once against abrams is a overkill for 1/4 the price of hellfire. Those are facts. Now lets get into warhead types. Lets skip the rocket type warheads as we all know most of them. ATACMS missile have very limited types of warheads: Submunitions and HE warhead - again correct me if im wrong. The Iskander/Tender missile system have besides tactical nuclear warheads have HE fragmentation, submunition, dedicated bunker penetrator, fuel-air explosive, ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE yes EMP warhead. With the ECM and homing seeker capabilities of this system which can easily penetrate most modern american airdefense system both land based and naval based - i can clearly see the multipurpose manner of this system way beyond m270. Because in a warfare scenario america would need beside m270 to deploy atleast one additional system for coastal defense. Russia does not need to as the Iskander missiles DO have terminal homing seekers optical. Thus these missiles can hit also moving targets - we can speculate about the size of an target but taking into consideration the state of the art seekers technology in Russia, i have no doubt they could be used to sink incomming landing barges or air cushion ships, let alone the floating docs ships or any other escort vessel within 480 km range using navy SAT recon. Now thats what i call effectiveness. When EMP warhead would be utilized several units normally out of submunitions range would be destroyed as well including at grater range more sensitive radar units - in USA you would need to call in airforce with SEAD aircrafts and AGM-88, so again effectiveness of such system is dramatically rising. Now as Garry have pointed out previously, there is a KUB missile variant surface to surface that is easily interchangable and yet the operational is even more extended. If you'll take into consideration all this, the mathematics is very easy when you can see the Smersh system being capable to destroy land units as normal MLRS system while Iskander missile system will take care of ships, communication hubs, weapon storage facilities, HQs from much greater distance than any ATACMS missile would be capable of - providing it would pass the airdefenses which in current state of the art Russian air defens units i HIGLY doubt.
Now when it comes to mobility. Ok the M270 is slightly faster at reloading times and it can go offroad better because of its caterpilar tracks. However the Russian wheeled chasis have better operational range, grater speed at roads and lat but not least are much more simple to maintain. In a warfare scenarion if M270 would manage to destroy the BM-30 Smerch, the moment of launch Russian artilerry radar or air defense unit would detect the rockets or missiles fired and it would mark the area as possible enemy artilery unit placement. If Iskander missile would be fired and M270 would move, that doesn't matter because the Iskander can be re-targeted in flight, even by UAV and it ould eventually hit the moving M270 anyway.... result?
Russia lost MLRS capability, USA lost MLRS capability + precision missile strike capability. So i dare to ask whats more efficient?
Overall sometimes there is a reason why we are using a kinfe AND a fork rather than using fork alone.
And as such in the role of MLRS the BM-30 Smersh greatly outperforms the M270 MLRS and as such in the role of point precision missile strike system the Iskander is unrivalled.
Currently there is a development of another Iskander variant launching cruise missiles with a range of thousands of killometers.[/quote]