Australia has recently received the green light from the US State Department regarding the former’s plans to procure an additional 22 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). This procurement, estimated to cost $975 million, now awaits approval from Congress to proceed.

Once approved, this acquisition will mark a significant step in Canberra’s efforts to modernize its military and enhance its ability to address a range of security challenges effectively, particularly in the Western Pacific region.

The M142 HIMARS is a versatile and mobile rocket artillery system that provides rapid and precise long-range firepower, with an estimated maximum range of at least 500 kilometers. It can launch a variety of munitions, including the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) pods, which have different warhead options. Moreover, it offers high accuracy through GPS-guided technology, enabling it to engage targets with exceptional precision. Its mobility, rapid deployment capability, and interoperability make it an integral component of modern artillery forces, enhancing both offensive and defensive operations in various scenarios.

the revered American artillery rocket system
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Image source: DVIDS)

The HIMARS Procurement Details

The proposed HIMARS acquisition entails not only the long-range rocket systems themselves but also a comprehensive package of support systems and associated munitions. As enumerated by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the entire procurement includes:

  • 22 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 60 M30A1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS);
  • 40 M31A1 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) High Explosive (HE) Pods with IMPS;
  • 66 M30A2 Extended Range (ER)-GMLRS AW Pods;
  • 24 M31A2 ER GMLRS Unitary (HE) Pods;
  • Reduced Range Practice Rocket (RRPR) Pods;
  • Intercom systems to support the HIMARS Launcher;
  • M1084A2 HIMARS Re-Supply Vehicles (RSV);
  • Trailers;
  • 9300-SL60TN Forklift, Side Loader;
  • Radio/communication mounts;
  • Machine gun mounts;
  • Wheel guards;
  • Ruggedized laptops;
  • Training and training equipment;
  • Publications for HIMARS and its munitions and spares;
  • Corresponding services, other support equipment, and related program elements, such as logistic support.

The estimated total program cost for this comprehensive acquisition is $975 million. Meanwhile, in the press release statement, the US Defense Department noted that the arms sale “will have no adverse impact” on the country’s defense readiness.

Strategic Rationale and Benefits

The proposed HIMARS acquisition aligns with both Australia’s strategic objectives and its partnership with the United States. As one of Washington’s key Western Pacific allies, Canberra plays a vital role in ensuring regional peace, stability, and economic prosperity. This acquisition contributes to both countries’ shared foreign policy and national security goals.

“The accelerated acquisition of additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers provide the Australian Army with a significant capability boost, ensuring it has the resources it needs,”

said Hon Richard Marles MP, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, in a statement.

By expanding its long-range precision strike capabilities, Australia enhances its capacity to address a wide range of threats effectively. The acquisition will also foster greater interoperability between Australian, American, and allied forces, enabling more seamless collaboration during joint operations. This strengthened cooperation is crucial for maintaining regional security and responding promptly to evolving security challenges.

Moreover, Canberra highlighted its intention to invest in the domestic production of HIMARS-compatible missiles starting in 2025. This initiative contributes to building a robust defense industry within Australia and helps safeguard critical supply chains and reduce global demand pressure.

Contributing to a Secure Future

The proposed acquisition of HIMARS and the comprehensive military overhaul underscore Australia’s unwavering commitment to ensuring security for its citizens and allies. With the procurement of HIMARS rocket systems, complemented by support structures and munitions, Australia gains the capacity to fortify its homeland defense capabilities and safeguard vital infrastructure.

The clip below showcases the HIMARS system’s impressive precision strike capabilities on the Ukrainian battlefield, countering Russian aggression.

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The Minister for Defence Industry, Hon Pat Conroy MP, emphasized, “Australia is investing in enhanced long-range capabilities across all domains, which will deliver a persistent, long-range, all-weather, rapid response capability that is operationally deployable and tactically mobile.

Significantly, this acquisition does not upset the existing regional military balance, thus promoting stability and cooperation. The principal contractors for the HIMARS acquisition include Lockheed Martin, L3Harris Corporation, Leonardo DRS, and Oshkosh Corporation.

Conroy elaborated on Australia’s strategic direction, highlighting that the HIMARS acquisition is part of a broader vision. He noted, “By acquiring HIMARS, Australia is taking important steps towards domestic missile manufacturing, aiming to both build up Australia’s defence industry, protect our supply chains, and contribute to easing global demand.”


Australia’s additional procurement of HIMARS rocket systems, along with its commitment to long-range strike capabilities and missile production, marks a significant milestone in the nation’s pursuit of enhanced defense capabilities and regional security. With a total potential of 42 HIMARS rocket systems, Australia stands ready to contribute to a secure and stable Western Pacific region while solidifying its partnership with the United States. As both countries continue to work closely together, the region can look forward to a more secure and prosperous future.