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Romania receives HIMARS rocket launcher systems from the US

Romanian HIMARS rocket launchers delivered
Photo: Romanian defense ministry

First elements of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) arrived in Romania from the US on February 20, the country’s defense ministry announced.

The systems are destined for the 81st Tactical Operational Missile Battalion stationed in Focsani, in eastern Romania. The unit will also conduct acceptance test and trials.

According to the defense ministry, a total of 18 systems will be delivered under a contract from 2018. The $1.5 billion deal made Romania the first European customer for the system.

According to photographs shared by the defense ministry, all 18 HIMARS vehicles arrived in Constanta on February 20.

It is worth noting that Romania also acquired Patriot surface to air missile systems, and that the first Patriot was officially handed over to Romania in September 2020.

The Romanian defense ministry says the HIMARS acquisition will introduce an indirect fire support capability to the country’s armed forces, as well as boost its strategic cooperation with US by fulfilling its commitments within NATO.

HIMARS rocket launcher systems are offloaded at Port of Constanta, Romania, on February 20, 2021. Photo: Romanian defense ministry

HIMARS is a lightweight mobile launcher, transportable via C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment, that fires Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets, Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles, the next-generation Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and Extended-Range GMLRS rockets.

The Lockheed Martin-built system consists of a launcher loader module and fire control system mounted on the M1140 five-ton truck chassis. A specialized armored cab provides additional protection to the three crew members that operate the system.