HIMARS: What is it? An Expert Describes – A mobile rocket launcher, the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is exactly what its name implies. The relatively lightweight system can fire multiple rockets from its mounting on the back of a typical U.S. Army M1140 truck frame. The system is equipped with a pod that can hold six 227mm GMLRS rockets or a single 610mm ATACMS missile.
According to the website of the system’s inventor, Lockheed Martin, the HIMARS “protects our men with war proven reliability.” “Global adversaries are getting more technologically advanced. Our customers need the most cutting-edge tactical missile capabilities to defend soldiers, residents, and infrastructure. A strategic capability, the Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System enhances homeland and key asset defence while lowering total mission costs.
Multiple Rocket System on Wheels
The HIMARS is simply an M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) on wheels.
The technology improves the crew’s capacity for survival in a battle zone by utilising a shoot-and-scoot capability. According to Lockheed Martin, “HIMARS can deploy, fire, move, and carry out reload in a matter of minutes, greatly decreasing an adversary’s ability to find and target HIMARS.”
Actually, the MLRS pod and the HIMARS pod are the same. The HIMARS was originally used in the Middle East, where the United States was involved in a 20-year struggle, in the 1990s. When a HIMARS-launched missile killed 12 civilians in Afghanistan during Operation Moshtarak in 2010, the HIMARS gained news. The HIMARS was not in use while an inquiry was being done.
At first, there were worries that the rocket system had failed and erroneously targeted a different target. However, a British officer contended that the rockets were on target and that the Taliban, who employed civilians as human shields, were to blame for the deaths of the civilians. Of course, Lockheed insists that the technology is extremely accurate. HIMARS “delivers inexpensive, rapid, long-range precision strikes with a recognised and proven range up to 300km and a choice of future munitions in development that will enable increased range beyond 499 km.”
The HIMARS is incredibly portable and can be used almost anywhere. The complete system, including the truck, can easily be placed onto the tail of a C-130 Hercules and flown in, even to far-off airfields. The U.S. Army announced in 2015 that it had fired approximately 400 HIMARS rockets towards ISIS during operations against that group in Iraq.
Lockheed bragged in 2016 that the system had surpassed the milestone of 1 million operational hours and had attained a superb 99 percent operational readiness rate. The number of operational hours has more than doubled since 2016. “The HIMARS solution has surpassed all performance criteria and is a fielded, combat tested, highly reliable system. According to Lockheed Martin, there are more than 540 fielded systems that have operated for more than 2,000,000 hours in total.
Currently, Ukraine is using the weapon system; initially, the United States gave Ukraine four HIMARS systems. However, as the system has proven effective against Russian invaders, the US has continued to provide Ukraine with more HIMARS systems. Eight Ukrainian HIMARS systems are said to have destroyed 30 Russian command posts as well as ammo storage sites, though this is hotly contested. As many as 16 HIMARS systems are now in operation in Ukraine.
One of the weaponry systems that Ukraine is using to thwart a considerably larger Russian army was imported from abroad.
To deter Russian fire, the Ukrainians have even built wooden dummy HIMARS.