The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) has been in the spotlight for the past months, simultaneously becoming an MVP for the Ukrainian troops as they continue fighting the Russian invaders off their motherland. Following its success, the US-made artillery has caught the eyes of many international armed forces across the globe, including Australia, which is now looking into not only buying the highly precise and deadly weapon but also locally producing its powerful Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
Australia To Consider Producing HIMARS MLRS, Official Says
Last week, a Lockheed Martin executive told reporters that Canberra is currently working on negotiations with the US in procuring the HIMARS to ramp up the latter’s military arsenal, as well as looking into possible manufacturing of the rockets in the country.
James Heading, Lockheed Martin Australia’s director of programs in the strategic capabilities office for missiles and fire control, said that local production of the MLRS in the country would be ideal than importing the armament, especially during a conflict that would pose a challenge.
In May, the US State Department gave the Australian government the thumbs up on the latter’s proposed request to purchase 20 M142 HIMARS systems for an estimated amount of AU$542 million (US$385 million). Aside from the HIMARS, the proposed arms deal will also include 30 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS), 30 Alternative Warhead (AW) pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion Systems (IMPS), 30 M31A2 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) high explosive pods with IMPS, 30 XM403 Extended Range (ER)-GMLRS AW pods, 30 EM404 ER GMLRS unitary pods, and 10 M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). The additional armaments will not only bolster the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Australian armed forces but also secure and ensure stability around its geopolitical and strategic position in the Western Pacific.