Ukraine is about to receive a very large number of GMLRS missiles for the HIMARS-guided rocket artillery system in an aid package worth up to 550 million USD
The question of whether Ukraine has enough GMLRS missiles for the HIMARS complex to operate was quickly answered by the Pentagon by delivering thousands of high-precision guided munitions.
According to the announcement, the US has approved and is transferring to Ukraine another round of military aid worth $550 million, including 155 mm artillery shells and GMLRS missiles for the M142 HIMARS guided rocket artillery system.
In its message, the Pentagon only listed the number of shells as 75,000. Based on the total amount of aid and the estimated cost of a 155 mm shell allows us to give a rough estimate of the number of GMLRS missiles that will be delivered in this batch.
The cost of a normal 155 mm shell is about 1,500 USD. Because the US usually supplies high-quality ammunition, they will be more expensive, which can be “wide-handed” with an average cost of $2,000.
Thus, out of $550 million in military aid this time around, about $150 million is dedicated to 155 mm shells to fire on howitzer systems such as the M777, M109 Paladin, CAESAR, PzH 2000, or Krab.
After that, $400 million is the cost of the GMLRS missiles, each of which, according to different sources, costs about $ 105 – 150 thousand (errors are related to the year of manufacture and specific version).
This means that the number of GMLRS missiles in the next round of aid alone is in the range of 2,666 to 3,809 units, or between 444 and 634 “packs”, although the tolerance is quite large, the number is even modestly estimated. The most expensive is also very significant.
It should be noted that each GMLRS missile has its own guide channel, with proven accuracy of about 1 meter. That means each missile is capable of completely destroying a completely separate target.
Note that this calculation is only an approximation, based on estimated prices for ammunition and official Pentagon data. But if Ukraine still uses GMLRS missiles as carefully as in the past, the number of Russian targets destroyed will be extremely large.
The next issue to note is that up to the present time, after the delivery of all the M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS systems as committed, including the German version of the MARS II, the Ukrainian Army has 22 high-precision missile launchers.
Thus, the total number of GMLRS missiles that can be fired in a salvo from Ukrainian systems is 168 rounds in 28 “packs”, of which HIMARS has one “pack” with 6 rounds, and M270 has two packages with 12 rounds. bullet.
Previously, it was assumed that 20 Ukrainian HIMARS systems fired 7,200 rounds per month, then at the end of 4 months of hostilities, Kyiv soldiers would use nearly 29,000 GMLRS missiles. This is 58% of US stockpiles as of the end of the fiscal year 2021.
In the event that Ukraine receives 10 more M142 HIMARS guided rocket systems and they are fully operational every day, all 30 systems will fire up to 43,200 missiles in 4 months.
According to official data, before the end of the fiscal year 2021, the United States has about 50,000 GMLRS missiles in stock, but right now additional production to fill the gap and continue to aid Ukraine has already begun.