M142 HIMARS MLRS
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System missile launchers - United States
The M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a 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 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. It is designed to launch guided rockets and tactical ballistic missiles.
HIMARS is able to launch its weapons and move away from the area at high speed before enemy forces are able to locate the launch site. Offering Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) firepower on a wheeled chassis, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is the newest member of the MLRS launcher family. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of rockets or one ATACMS missile on the Army's new 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 2003 and is currently in Full-Rate Production. HIMARS successfully completed the 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 the 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, the 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. In April 2022, the Polish Ministry of Defense announced talks with the United States to acquire HIMARS. In May 2022, the United States approved a $40 billion military aid to Ukraine and expects to deliver M142 HIMARS to the Ukrainian army. On June 1, 2022, the United States announced it would deliver HIMARS to Ukraine. On June 1, 2022, the United States confirmed the delivery of four M142 HIMARS to Ukraine. On July 20, 2022, the United States announced a new delivery of four additional HIMARS rocket launchers to Ukraine. On November 9, 2022, the Polish Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with the local defense industry to integrate the HIMARS rocket launcher pod into the Polish Jelcz truck chassis. On November 17, 2022, the Polish Minister of Defense announced the delivery of the first US M142 HIMARS to Poland next year. On December 2, 2022, Director General of the Estonian State Defense Investment Center Magnus-Waldemar Saar signed an agreement with the US Defense and Security Cooperation Agency for the purchase of 6 HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems with ammunition including rockets and missiles. On December 16, 2022, Lithuania signed a contract with the United States to purchase 8 American-made M142 HIMARS. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on February 16, 2023, announced that the U.S. State Department has made a determination to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the Netherlands of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and related equipment for an estimated cost of $670 million.
On August 18, 20223, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $975 million
M142 HIMARS variants:
No variants at this time
The M142 HIMARS carries a single six-pack of rockets on the army's family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) 6x6. The HIMARS (launcher) consists of a carrier (automotive portion) and a Fire Control system (FCS) that computes all fire mission data and a Launcher-Loader Module (LLM) portion that performs all operations necessary to complete a fire mission. The launcher system is composed of two lines of three launcher tubes. The HIMARS can fire the standard MLRS round, but also the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket, the reduced-range practice rocket, and all future variants. It can also fire the extended-range guided rocket GMLRS, with a range of more than 70 km. The HIMARS is also capable to fire the TACMS Tactical Missile with a maximum range of 300 km. It can fire all munitions in the currently planned suite of the MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) Family of Munitions (MFOM), including army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles and Guided MLRS (GMLRS) rockets.
|Design and protection|
The M142 HIMARS consists of two main components with a crew cabin at the front and at the rear, the rocket launcher pod mounted on an elevating and traversing platform, allowing for full horizontal and vertical movement. The crew cabin is constructed with armor plating, which provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell fragments. The armor is designed to withstand 7.62mm rounds and fragments from 155mm artillery shells at a certain distance. The vehicle is based on a 6x6 FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles) chassis, which houses the cabin crew compartment. The cabin is designed to accommodate a crew of three including the driver, a gunner, and a section chief (or launcher commander). The driver sits on the left side of the cabin, while the gunner and the section chief sit on the right side. All three crew members have access to communication systems, intercoms, and vehicle controls. The fire control module is integrated into the cabin, enabling the crew to operate the system effectively.
The HIMARS rocket launcher system consists of two main components including the launcher-loader module and the fire control module. The launcher-loader module is mounted on the rear of the vehicle chassis, behind the cabin. It consists of a single six-pack rocket pod, which can be armed with six M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of munitions or a single MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile. The rocket pod is mounted on an elevating and traversing platform, allowing it to rotate 360 degrees horizontally and elevate from 0 to +60 degrees vertically. The fire control module is located within the cabin and is operated by the gunner and the section chief. It includes the fire control computer, navigation system, and communication equipment. The fire control module is used to calculate firing solutions, receive target information, and communicate with other HIMARS units and higher headquarters.
|The rocket launcher system M142 HIMARS is fitted to the 6x6 chassis of the medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) all-wheel-drive 5t truck. The FMTV standard cargo truck is motorized with a Caterpillar C7 engine coupled to a 7-speed automatic Allison 3700SP transmission.|
|HIMARS is C-130 transportable and can be deployed into areas previously inaccessible to heavier launchers. It also incorporates the self-loading, autonomous features that have made MLRS the premier rocket artillery system in the world. 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. HIMARS is equipped with a self-loading and autonomous system. The HIMARS is equipped with a fire control system which includes video, keyboard control, a gigabyte of program storage, and a global positioning system. The fire control computer allows firing missions to be carried out in automatic or manual mode.|
|6 MLRS series rockets or 1 ATACMS tactical missile||Protection against small arms firing and shell splinters.|
|Country users||Weight truck|
|Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States||10,886 kg|
|Designer Country||Speed truck|
|United States||85 km/h maximum speed on a road|
|Firing control system||- 45 km with ER-MLRS rocket |
- 70 km with the new extended-range guided rocket GMLRS
- 300 km with tactical missile
|3||Length: 5,046 m; Width: 2,16 m; Height: 2,251 m|
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