MLRS M142 HIMARS proved their high efficiency during the modern armed conflict and played an important role in the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces in the Kharkiv region and Kherson region. This is probably why the Pentagon is ordering 480 more such systems in addition to the 600 M142 HIMARS and M270A1, which are already in service with the US Army. This is reported by Defense Express.
These are procurement plans for the period from 2024 to 2028 of 480 M142 HIMARS with a delivery rate of up to 96 units per year. This is a maximum. The minimum order plan means 120 units with a supply rate of 24 units per year.
If the M142 HIMARS and M270A1 already in service are not written off, then in 2028 the US Army will have more than 1,000 MLRS systems of this type, 850 of which are wheeled HIMARS. And this is without taking into account the possible order of the latest versions of M270A2, the first of which was recently handed over to the military.
Of course, the order of new MLRS will entail an additional order for missiles. First, to cover the shortage in connection with sending part of the ammunition to Ukraine, and second, to provide ammunition for new systems.
It is no longer about “simple” GMLRS and MGM-140 ATACMS, but about new versions of these missiles – GMLRS-ER with a range of up to 150 km, and Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), which can reach the enemy at a distance of more than 500 km.
In addition, the European concern MBDA recently presented a very interesting Joint Fire Support Missile (JFS-M) cruise missile with a range of up to 500 km, which is also compatible with M142 HIMARS and M270A1/2.
And finally. There is a project to integrate surface-to-air missiles with HIMARS, which will turn the MLRS into a multifunctional missile complex with anti-aircraft functions. That’s amazing!
But demand for HIMARS appears to exceed supply. Therefore, Poland, which was going to buy 500 HIMARS is already looking at the South Korean counterpart K239 Chunmoo. It is essentially the same M270A1/2, but wheeled and of course compatible with GMLRS, ATACMS, and some Korean-made missiles, including simple 130mm missiles, which can be up to 20 in a pack.
Well, the Armed Forces of Ukraine made a good advertisement for HIMARS! We demand our share of additional MLRS!
Technical specifications of the M142 HIMARS
Weight – 16.25 tons
Length – 7 m
Width – 2.4 m
Height – 3.2 m
Crew – 3
Caliber – 227 mm
Number of missiles – 6×227 mm, or 1×MGM-140 ATACMS
Rate of fire – 18 rounds/min
Effective firing range – 32-70 km (227 mm caliber missiles), up to 300 km (MGM-140 ATACMS), up to 499 km (Precision Strike Missile)
Driving range – 480 km
Maximum speed – 85 km/h