US clears Australia to buy HIMARS launcher

Photo: United States Marine Corps and United States Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems perform a live firing drill at Plains Airfield during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019. Photo by Leading Seaman Craig Walton.

The US State Department has decided to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of HIMARS launchers and related equipment.

The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on 26 May 2022.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy 20 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); 30 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS); 30 Alternative Warhead (AW) Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion Systems (IMPS); 30 M31A2 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) High Explosive Pods with IMPS; 30 XM403 Extended Range (ER)-GMLRS AW Pods; 30 EM404 ER GMLRS Unitary Pods; and 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; ruggedized laptops; training equipment publications; spare and repair parts; support equipment; tools; test equipment; technical data; US Government and Contractor support; technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of program and logistic support.

The total estimated program cost is US$385 million.

A US Defence Security Cooperation Agency press statement said Australia was one of the USA’s most important allies in the Western Pacific.

“The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

” It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.

“The proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats and will enhance interoperability with US forces and other allied forces.

“Australia will use the capability to strengthen its homeland defence and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure.”

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency assessed that Australia would have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

Among the principal contractors listed to support this purchase [if it goes ahead under Australia’s new government] will be Lockheed Martin and L3 Harris.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law.  The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements.  Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.

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