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HIMARS - USA’s missile system

  • Published
    2nd Jun, 2022
Context

The United States announced recently that it is sending advanced missile systems to Ukraine. The new weapon is the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system.

  • The range of the systems provided by Washington will be about 80km (50 miles).
About

What is the HIMARS missile system?

  • The US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems is known as HIMARS.
  • It is a multiple launch rocket system, or MLRS - a mobile unit that can simultaneously launch multiple precision-guided missiles.
  • HIMARS has superior range and precision. 
  • The M142 HIMARS system (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a modernized, lighter and more agile wheel-mounted version of the track-mounted M270 MLRS developed in the 1970s for US and allied forces. 
  • HIMARS carry one preloaded pod of six 227 mm guided missiles (the M270 carries two pods), or one large pod loaded with an ATACMS tactical missile.

Where is HIMARS used earlier?

  • The M142 HIMARS, a light multiple rocket launcher, was developed for the US Army in the late 1990s.
    • The system is mounted on a standard Army M1140 truck frame, and carries six rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile.
    • The launcher can be transported by C-130 transport aircraft.
  • HIMARS had aided the NATO offensive by targeting Taliban hideouts in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • In 2015, the US Army said they had used HIMARS to fire at least 400 rockets at the Islamic State in Iraq.
  • HIMARS fired rockets in support of Syrian fighters battling the Islamic State in Syria.
  • In 2016, the US announced the deployment of HIMARS in Turkey near its border with Syria, and near Mosul to take on the Islamic State.
  • In 2018, HIMARS missiles killed at least 50 Taliban in Musa Qala, Afghanistan.
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