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Land Forces 2022: Australia considers HIMARS rocket production

Australia has requested to procure 20 M142 HIMARS launchers from the US government. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Consideration is being given to the manufacture of missiles for the US High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in Australia, a Lockheed Martin executive has disclosed.

James Heading, Lockheed Martin Australia's director of programmes in the strategic capabilities office for missiles and fire control, told media on 4 October that the consideration was centred on the production of the rockets themselves but not the launch vehicles.

The US Department of State approval for Australia's potential acquisition of 20 M142 HIMARS systems was announced in May 2022 at an estimated cost of USD385 million.

“We are certainly trying to explore what Australia actually wants,” Heading said at the Land Forces 2022 exposition in Brisbane. “Part of that resilience in the supply chain obviously goes straight to energetics.”

He added, “The hardest things to ship in any conflict are the energetics. We want to look at the rocket motors and the warheads. We already have the teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin and Thales.

“It's all well and good to talk about the casings and the fins and the body and all sorts of things. We are exploring to see what the capabilities and capacities are here in Australia.”

Australia is also capable of producing the HIMARS rockets' critical guidance system, but that was dependent on what the US government would allow to be released, Heading said.

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