Romania approves purchase of US M142 HIMARS missile/rocket launchers

On February 15, 2018, government of Romania has approved the acquisition of American-made M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). According to the Romania-Insider website, Romania will make a payment of around to $1 billion on February 28 to acquire the first HIMARS rocket/missile system.

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High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, assigned to A and B Batteries, 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery and used by the 213th Regional Training Institute to teach the 10 level HIMARS driver reclassification course at Camp Guernsey are lined up and ready to execute a simulated admin shoot, upon verbal command from the instructor. (Picture source US MoD)

In August 2017, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Romania for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and related support and equipment with an estimated cost of $1.25 billion. The Government of Romania has requested the possible sale of fifty-four (54) High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) Launchers, eighty-one (81) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) M31A1 Unitary, eighty-one (81) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) M30A1 Alternative Warhead, and fifty-four (54) Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) M57 Unitary.

Also included with this request are: fifty-four (54) M1084A1P2 HIMARS Resupply Vehicles (RSVs) (5 ton, Medium Tactical Cargo Vehicle with Material Handling Equipment), fifty-four (54) M1095 MTV Cargo Trailer with RSV kit, and ten (10) M1089A1P2 FMTV Wreckers (5 Ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Wrecker with Winch), thirty (30) Low Cost Reduced Range (LCRR) practice rockets, support equipment, communications equipment, sensors, spare and repair parts, test sets, batteries, laptop computers, publications and technical data, facility design, training and training equipment, systems integration support, Quality Assurance Teams and a Technical Assistance Fielding Team, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

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M142 HIMARS firing Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) (Source US MoD)

The M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is multiple rocket launcher system mounted to a 6x6 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 HIMARS can carry a single six-pack of rockets or one ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missile on the Army's Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) 5-ton truck, and can launch the entire MLRS family of munitions. It was successfully combat-tested in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The HIMARS can fire the full range of rockets and can launch the entire Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM) to a maximum range of 40 km, including HE-FRAG (High-Explosive Fragmentation) and cluster. It also fires newly developed extended range guided munitions from a range of 60 to 100 km.

The ATACMS family includes the Block 1, Block 1A and Block 1A Unitary missiles. The block 1 missile delivers 950 anti-personnel anti-material (AP/AM) baseball-sized M74 sub-munitions to ranges exceeding 165 km. The block 1A missile range exceeds 300 km by reducing the sub-munition payload to 300 bomblets and adding GPS guidance.

The HIMARS fire control system, electronics and communications units are interchangeable with the existing MLRS M270A1 launcher, and the crew and training are the same.