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US approves possible sale of HIMARS to Australia

The HIMARS, pictured above from a US Army exercise, can hit targets at a range of 70 km using the Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions, both guided and unguided, and 300 km with the MGM-142 Army Tactical Missile System. (US Army/Sgt 1st Class Steven Queen)

The US Department of State has approved the possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARSs) and related equipment to the Australian government for an estimated cost of USD975 million.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 18 August that Canberra has requested to buy 22 HIMARS, along with 60 M30A1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) alternative warhead (AW) pods with insensitive munitions propulsion system (IMPS), 40 M31A1 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) high-explosive (HE) pods with IMPS, 66 M30A2 extended range (ER)-GMLRS AW pods, and 24 M31A2 ER GMLRS-U HE pods.

Australia also requested to buy reduced-range practice rocket (RRPR) pods, intercom systems to support the HIMARS launcher, M1084A2 HIMARS resupply vehicles (RSVs), trailers, 9300-SL60TN forklift, side loader, radio/communication mounts, machine gun mounts, wheel guards, ruggedised laptops, along with US government technical assistance, training, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.

The DSCA said it had notified Congress of the possible sale of HIMARS and related equipment. β€œThe 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 will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” the DSCA added.

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