The Defense and Security Cooperation Agency recently announced that the US State Department has authorized the sale of eight HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems to Lithuania for a fixed price of $495 million (approximately $493 million). millions of euros).
“The Department of State has decided to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Lithuanian government of M142 HIMARS launchers and related equipment at an estimated cost of US$495 million. The Agency for Security and defense today issued the required certification advising Congress of this possible sale,” the agency said in a press release.
The agency said the planned sale would help Lithuania achieve its military goals of modernizing its army while enhancing interoperability with the United States and other partners and helping to prevent regional threats.
Lithuania is one of many Eastern European states that have stepped up military purchases following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the end of September, the Lithuanian government assigned additional funds for the defense of the Baltic state.
At the time, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defense announced that deals to purchase “HIMARS missile systems” were among the important deals the country intended to sign this year.
Lithuania is one of the nations in the region that plans to buy the weapon from Lockheed Martin to improve its rocket artillery capabilities. Ukraine also uses weapons supplied by the United States to counter Russian aggression.
HIMARS’ popularity surged after his breakthrough performance against Russian troops. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said the country has never had such systems.
It is also pertinent to note that Lithuania’s concern about security stems from the fact that it shares a land border with Russia and is a key NATO ally.
“This capability of the Lithuanian Armed Forces will require pursuing an even higher level of intelligence, electronic combat and other capabilities. Missiles of several types will be delivered, including ATACMS operational-tactical missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The US State Department 🇺🇸 has approved the sale of the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and related equipment to Lithuania 🇱🇹 for an estimated $495 million. Thank you 🇺🇸! #Stronger together pic.twitter.com/ljAMpFsaHI
— Arvydas Anusauskas (@a_anusauskas) November 10, 2022
The successful deployment and operation of HIMARS in Ukraine has caused a domino effect in the region. Before Lithuania, neighboring Latvia requested the purchase of an undetermined number of M142 HIMARS launchers.
Not only that, in a surprise move, Poland announced in May that it had started the process of acquiring 500 units of HIMARS. Meanwhile, Estonia ordered six systems in July for $500 million.
Faced with growing demand in Ukraine and across Europe, HIMARS maker Lockheed Martin announced last month that it was ramping up production of the system. The company is ready to increase HIMARS manufacturing from its current level of 60 launchers per year to 96 launchers per year, CEO Jim Taiclet said.
HIMARS changed the fate of Ukrainian military operations
The HIMARS MLRS allowed Ukraine to quickly launch precise strikes from stand-off distances without the need for air power, compensating for the country’s undersized air force.
Using HIMARS long-range rockets, Ukrainian forces were able to decimate hundreds of Russian positions and ammunition storage facilities far from the front lines. The system has undoubtedly made Russian battlefield commanders nervous, who have repeatedly voiced their concerns.
In his first interview after taking over as commander not so long ago, Russian General Sergei Surovikin admitted that the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the southern province of Kherson had put the Russian army in a “difficult situation “. The Ukrainian offensive, mainly led by the HIMARS, pounded the Russian positions and pushed them back.
A lighter version of the bulkier armored M270 multiple launch rocket system, the HIMARS, is designed to be deployed atop a truck. While Ukrainian vehicles are equipped with a Guided Multiple Launch System pod that can fire six GPS-guided rockets up to 50 miles, HIMARS is also capable of firing the Army’s Tactical Missile System, which has a significant long range.
HIMARS is remarkably accurate when used against stationary targets with precise coordinates. However, it is ineffective against moving objects such as troops; therefore, he cannot stop an advance.
However, according to some reports, Ukrainian forces have started to deploy these systems against moving convoys, albeit in a limited way.
Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has not lost a single HIMARS, but Russia has lost its humanity and dignity. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of tons of ammunition and the thousands of soldiers they sent to certain death. pic.twitter.com/VXNFxJQYJD
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) November 6, 2022
While Russia claims to have destroyed several of these American-made systems, a senior Department of Defense official recently said Politics that Russia has failed to destroy a single HIMARS launcher since Ukraine began using them in June.
In contrast, Ukraine has used HIMARS to obliterate several critical Russian infrastructures, including bridges that cut into the heart of Russian logistics.