HIMARS (high-mobility artillery rocket system) is the newest member of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) family
Lockheed Martin has received a $160.5 million contract modification to produce additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The award includes a foreign military sale of M142 HIMARS and related support services to Taiwan, the Department of Defense said Wednesday. April 30, 2023, is the estimated completion date of work under the modification.
The M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a multiple rocket launcher system mounted to a 6×6 FMTV truck chassis. HIMARS was developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control under an advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) program, placed in 1996. The purpose of HIMARS is to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations.
Offering Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) firepower on a wheeled chassis, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) carries a single six-pack of rockets or one ATACMS missile on the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) 5-ton truck and can launch the entire MLRS family of munitions. HIMARS is operated by a crew of three – driver, gunner and section chief – but the computer-based fire control system enables a crew of two or even a single soldier to load and unload the system.
HIMARS received approval to enter production in March. HIMARS successfully completed initial operational test and evaluation in November 2004. In May 2005, the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery was the first unit equipped with HIMARS. HIMARS has been a joint system since 2000 when the U.S. Marine Corps joined the program. It was successfully combat-tested in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The HIMARS M142 is in service with United States, Singapore, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. In December 2012, Qatar notified the U.S. of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 7 M142 HIMARS systems. The U.S. State Department approved the FMS (Foreign Military Sale) of 54 HIMARS launchers to Romania in August 2017. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement at the time valued the sale at USD1.25 billion, including related support and equipment. In February 2019, Poland has officially announced the purchase of 20 M142 HIMARS. In July 2019, American Company has announced the production of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and associated hardware for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Romania and Poland under a $492 million contract, marking Poland’s first acquisition of HIMARS launchers.