Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest defense and aerospace companies in the world, has been awarded a $183 million contract by the U.S. Army for delivery of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and associated hardware.
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The deal includes the manufacture of 28 HIMARS units which will be made at the company’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas, US.
The M142 HIMARS is the newest member of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family. It enables troops in engaging and defeating artillery, and air defense concentrations which could include Patriot and THAAD missile defense systems.
Carrying a pack of six GMLRS (guided MLRS) rockets or one TACMS missile, the rocket system is designed to launch the entire family of MLRS (Multiple-Launch Rocket System) munitions. It also simplifies coalition operations, training, logistics, and military coordination.
HIMARS has seen successful use with the ISAF in Afghanistan, and in Iraq and Syria in recent years against Islamic State terrorists. The deliveries are expected to commence in 2022 for the U.S. Marine Corps and an unspecified international customer.
“The Army’s commitment to the HIMARS launcher through 2050 reflects our customers’ confidence in Lockheed Martin’s highly reliable, combat-proven precision strike systems and munitions,” said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
“These new HIMARS launchers will provide unmatched mobile firepower in support of multi-domain operations, and our allies can count on Lockheed Martin’s continued support in maintaining these combat-proven systems,” she added.
HIMARS is a 16-tonne vehicle which can go upto maximum road speeds of 85 km/hour, and its modularity to launch a variety of rockets makes it a highly versatile and mobile artillery platform.
The system comprises a launcher loader module and fire control system installed on a 5t truck chassis, while the three crew members deployed to operate the system are offered extra protection in a specialized armored cab. It is transportable via a C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment.
Earlier, Lockheed Martin was also awarded a whopping $62 billion contract for a ten-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), fixed-price-incentive contract for the production of F-16V fighter jets under Foreign Military Sales (FMS).