How HIMARS is Helping Ukraine’s War Effort?

HIMARS, lightweight mobile launchers that are mounted on military vehicles, have proven to be formidable weapons in Ukraine against Russian forces.

HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed by Lockheed Martin. It is designed to provide artillery support to ground forces by firing rockets and missiles up to 186 miles (300 km) away, but most have an effective range of up to 57.2 miles (92km).

The system is mounted on a wheeled vehicle, making it highly mobile and able to be transported by aircraft. Created for the American Army in the late 1990s, the system has proven it's worth time and time again ever since.

Six GMLRS rockets or one ATACMS missile are carried by one pod on the HIMARS. It is based on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) five-ton trucks used by the US Army. It can fire every rocket listed in the Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM).

While HIMARS ammo pods can be used with the M270 MLRS, there is only room for one rather than the two normal for the M270 and its variants.

This system has been exported to Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, and of course, Ukraine in an attempt to resist the Russian invasion.

Regarding the latter, HIMARS turned out to be a very precise and lethal system. These artillery rocket systems damaged numerous Russian command centers, ammunition depots, troop, and armored vehicle concentrations, and bridges. The majority of the objectives were situated far from the front lines.

According to Ukrainians, there have been instances where a building would be hit by a HIMARS GMLRS missile and then be struck again by a different rocket through the same opening. Russian air defense systems are ineffective against HIMARS strikes that have been saturated.

Estonia purchased 6 HIMARS systems in 2022, and Taiwan intends to buy 29 HIMARS launchers in 2023.

Although it only has one pack with 6 missiles, the HIMARS fires the same rockets as the M270 MLRS. It provides half the M270 MLRS's firepower. The HIMARS can launch the M270 rocket family, including rockets with cluster and high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warheads.

A standard 227 mm rocket is the M26. It is 13 feet (3.96 meters) long and weighs 677 pounds (307 kg). Its range is 20 miles (32 kilometers). It has a dual-purpose warhead weighing 265 pounds (120 kg) and 644 bomblets, which work well against soldiers and vehicles.

The M26, however, had a 25-year storage life. Rockets with more capability and accuracy were developed during that period. The M26 was taken off the road. The US military removed its stock of more than 360,000 M26 artillery rockets from inventory in 2009.

The original equipment manufacturer of the FMTV, BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems (formerly Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group Tactical Vehicle Systems Division), created the FMTV vehicle that carries the HIMARS. From 2010 until 2017, the Oshkosh Corporation produced it.

Currently, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Camden, Arkansas, manufactures both the chassis and the launcher system.

For anyone looking to get their hands on one, you get all that firepower for as little as $3.8 million per unit (excluding munitions, of course).

A bargain, we think you’ll agree.