In what looks like yet another FMS purchase without any form of competition, the Army is set to purchase Lockheed Martin’s HIMARS multiple launch rocket system (MLRS). It has been known for some time that this is what Army has wanted – and now this is what they get. In a continuation of the trend to replace Tiger helicopters with older generation Apaches and switching MRH fleet for Blackhawks, this will further transform the Army into a US clone.
In the official jargon, on May 26 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of HIMARS Launchers and related equipment for an estimated cost of US $385 million (AU $545 million). The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on this date. The details are:
“The Government of Australia has requested to buy twenty (20) M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); thirty (30) M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS); thirty (30) Alternative Warhead (AW) Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion Systems (IMPS); thirty (30) M31A2 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) High Explosive Pods with IMPS; thirty (30) XM403 Extended Range (ER)-GMLRS AW Pods; thirty (30) EM404 ER GMLRS Unitary Pods; and ten (10) M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
“Also included are Reduced Range Practice Rocket Pods (RRPRP); Vehicular Intercom System (AN/VIC-3) 3-Station; radio communication mounts; machine gun mounts; battle management system vehicle integration kits; wheel guards; ruggedised laptops; training equipment publications; spare and repair parts; support equipment; tools; test equipment; technical data; U.S. Government and Contractor support; technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of program and logistic support.”
The deal appears to have no Australian industry content.