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US approves $10B HIMARS package for Poland

More HIMARS for Poland as military build-up continues
US Army photo of a HIMARS launch

The US State Department has approved a potential sale of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers to Poland for an estimated $10 billion.

The price tag would include 18 HIMARS launchers, as well as 468 launcher loader module kits, which would be mounted on Polish trucks, according to Polish defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

Also included in the purchase are 45 longer-ranged M57 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) missiles, 461 M30A2 guided multiple launch rocket system alternative warheads (GMLRS-AW), 521 M31A2 GMLR Unitary pods and 532 XM403 GMLRS extended range alternative warhead pods.

The purchase further encompasses low cost reduced range practice rockets, support equipment, communications equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The US State Department announced the approval after Poland announced in May 2022 plans on the purchase of an additional 500 M142 HIMARS launchers that would equip more than 80 Polish Army batteries.

Poland already has 20 HIMARS on order, along with 300 GMLRS and ATACMS rockets, under a contract from February 2019.

Announcing the sale approval for the additional launchers, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the proposed sale would improve Poland’s military goals of updating capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies.

The principal contractor on a potential deal would be Lockheed Martin, who is delivering HIMARS to the US military and other operators worldwide.

HIMARS is a lightweight mobile launcher, transportable via C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment, that fires GMLRS rockets, ATACMS missiles, the next-generation Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) with a range of around 500 kilometers, and Extended-Range GMLRS rockets.

The 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.

The HIMARS buy, once finalized, would be the latest significant investment by Poland into military capability. The country has been buying equipment across all warfare domains even before the Russian invasion in Ukraine, but the purchases only intensified after February 24, 2022, the day of the start of the Russian invasion.