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US announces US$1.9bn contract modification for HIMARS

United States Army 17th Field Artillery Brigade High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) during the Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 firepower demonstration at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland. Photo: CPL Jacob Joseph

The US government has announced a US$1.9 billion contract modification for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) with American defence prime Lockheed Martin.

The US government has announced a US$1.9 billion contract modification for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) with American defence prime Lockheed Martin.

The contract modification was announced by the US Department of Defense earlier this month on 3 June.

Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of 31 May 2028, guided by contracting activity, Army Contracting Command.


Lockheed Martin has also recently announced a partnership with Aerostar SA to build Europe’s first certified HIMARS Sustainment Centre.

The new facility is expected to strengthen the existing relationship between global defence and aerospace company Lockheed Martin and Aerostar SA, which have partnered on similar sustainment activities for Romania’s Black Hawk and F-16 fighter fleets.

Located in Bacău, the sustainment centre will contribute to the creation and sustainment of high-value jobs in Romania and deliver increased readiness with lower operational costs for the Romanian Land Forces.

“At Lockheed Martin, we’re proud of our longstanding strategic partnership with Romania, which is delivering meaningful partnerships that foster innovation and resilience to enhance Romania’s defence industrial base,” Lockheed Martin international business vice-president Ray Piselli said at the ceremony in Bacău.

The new facility builds on the success of similar work already carried out by Aerostar and supports continued sustainment for critical defence assets. Romania will see support operations for the Land Forces HIMARS fleet carried out for Romania by engineers and technicians from Aerostar.

“Today’s event further expands our strategic relationship with Lockheed Martin, a world leader in aerospace and defence,” Aerostar director general Alexandru Filip said.

“This relationship is sustaining Aerostar with new technical capabilities and knowledge and firmly positioning us within Lockheed Martin’s global supply chain, which could open the door to new and exciting opportunities in the future.”

In the past 12 months, the company has seen the inauguration of the first European F-16 Training Center, the extension of an artificial intelligence research partnership with Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, and the inauguration of the first European maintenance centre for Black Hawk and significantly increased Aerostar’s capability to ensure advanced maintenance for F-16 jet fighters.

Romania’s HIMARS provide credible deterrent capability in support of defence and national security. HIMARS is a combat-proven system that offers deterrence against aggression and significantly increases the capability of NATO and Armed Forces across the globe. A lightweight mobile launcher, HIMARS is transportable via C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment, and fires ATACMS missiles, the next-generation Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), and GMLRS rockets to include the extended-range variant ER GMLRS. Romania was the first European user of HIMARS in 2021.

“Lockheed Martin has been a partner to Romania for more than 25 years and is today a strategic partner for national defence, industry, and academia,” according to a statement from Lockheed Martin.

“It partners with Romania on a variety of defence and security programs including military aircraft, missile defence, precision fire, radar and pilot training.

“The company’s involvement extends to include links with academic institutions, such as Romania’s Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, which is studying artificial intelligence applications to support national security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.”

Earlier this month, Ukrainian forces likely used HIMARS munitions to destroy a Russian S-300/400 air defence battery in Belgorod Oblast on 1 or 2 June, according to information published by a Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment on 3 June.

“Geolocated imagery published on June 3 shows two destroyed launchers and a damaged command post of a Russian S-300/400 air defence system in a field east of Kiselyovo (just north of Belgorod City),” according to the ISW Press report.

“The S-300/400 air defence system was located roughly 60 kilometres from the current frontline in northern Kharkiv Oblast and over 80 kilometres from Kharkiv City, which is within the range of HIMARS but exceeds the range of other MLRS systems that Ukrainian forces reportedly use to conduct strikes into Belgorod Oblast.

“Russian sources have increasingly claimed that Ukrainian forces are using HIMARS to strike Belgorod Oblast since the US partially lifted its restrictions on Ukraine’s ability to use US-provided weapons to strike military targets in Russian border areas with Kharkiv Oblast.

“Russian sources will likely continue to characterise any successful strike in Belgorod Oblast as a HIMARS strike regardless of the system used.”

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