The Australian Government has announced the purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and associated hardware, for an estimated cost of US$385 million. The first deliveries of the HIMARS are expected by 2025.
HIMARS are a highly mobile, combat-proven system that fires precision munitions ranging from 70 to 300 kilometres. Transportable by C-130 and C-17 aircraft, it is rapidly deployable and interoperable with partner nations.
Warren McDonald, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand said, “Lockheed Martin has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions for more than 40 years. The Lockheed Martin developed HIMARS will provide Defence with unmatched mobile land-based firepower”.
James Heading, Director of Programs, Strategic Capabilities Office at Lockheed Martin Australia’s Missiles and Fire Control said, “HIMARS employs a ‘shoot and scoot’ capability which enhances crew and platform survivability in high threat environments. HIMARS can emplace, fire and relocate, and conduct reload in a matter of minutes, dramatically reducing an adversary’s ability to locate and target HIMARS. HIMARS enables a generational leap in capability for Australia, taking Defence from cannon artillery to Long-Range Precision Fires that provide a 24/7 persistent, all-weather capability. HIMARS offers the Australian Defence Force the ability to use and share common munitions and to integrate into a coalition effort,” Heading said.
Lockheed Martin Australia is now looking at options to provide ongoing support, maintenance and sustainment of the HIMARS and related equipment in Australia. “Providing Defence with technical and logistical support, and sustainment services, offers opportunities for Australian small to medium enterprises and provides local employment opportunities and benefits to the economy,” Heading said.