Australia to buy long-range HIMARS missile system
Australia’s Army will have an unprecedented long-range strike capability with the purchase of the US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket (HIMARS) system, which Ukraine has praised for its devastating effectiveness against invading Russian forces.
The Albanese government has finalised a deal to buy 20 of the truck-mounted rocket launchers by 2026, while signing another deal to acquire the Norwegian-made Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) for Australian warships next year.
Precise costs of the purchases are being kept secret for security reasons, but the government has confirmed to the ABC the overall figure is “between one and two billion dollars”.
Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said during an October visit to the United States he held “productive discussions” with the Army and Lockheed Martin on how Australia could start producing the rockets used in HIMARS.
On New Year’s Day, a Ukrainian strike using the US-donated HIMARS system killed dozens, possibly even hundreds of Russian soldiers in the Donetsk region.
Mr Conroy said the deadly precision of HIMARS in Ukraine has confirmed why Australia should acquire the technology.
“We’ll have an Army ground launched missile that can reach targets up to 300 kilometres away and we’re part of developmental program in the United States called the precision strike missile that’ll allow Army to hit targets in excess of 499 kilometres”.