Australia requests the purchase of 20 US M142 HIMARS rockets/missiles launcher vehicles

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense on May 26, 2022, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) rockets/missiles launcher vehicles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $385 million. Australia has requested the purchase of 20 M142 HIMARS.
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M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) vehicles with the U.S. 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard participating in Saber Strike 18 execute a fire mission at Bemoko Piskie, Poland. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

The Government of Australia has requested to buy twenty (20) M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems); thirty (30) M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS); thirty (30) Alternative Warhead (AW) Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion Systems (IMPS); thirty (30) M31A2 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) High Explosive Pods with IMPS; thirty (30) XM403 Extended Range (ER)-GMLRS AW Pods; thirty (30) EM404 ER GMLRS Unitary Pods; and ten (10) M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

The proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats and will enhance interoperability with U.S. forces and other allied forces. Australia will use the capability to strengthen its homeland defense and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The principal contractors will be American companies Lockheed Martin Inc., Bethesda, MD; Chelton Inc., Marlow, United Kingdom; and L3 Harris Corp., Melbourne, FL. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).

The M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a multiple rocket launcher system mounted to a 6x6 FMTV truck chassis. The HIMARS was developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control under an advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) program, placed in 1996.

The HIMARS carries one launch pod containing either six Guided MLRS (GMLRS)/MLRS rockets or one Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile. When firing GMLRS-Unitary precision rockets, HIMARS can achieve ranges of 70-plus kilometers, attacking the target with low-collateral damage, enabling danger-close fires (within 200 meters) in support of friendly troops in contact, as well as engaging high-valued point targets in open, urban and complex environments.

The Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) is a family of all-weather, surface-to-surface, inertially guided missiles. The guidance system of the missile is inertial with GPS aided. It has a firing range from 70 to 300 km.