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Poland to establish HIMARS academy and rocket brigade

Poland is establishing a HIMARS academy and the 1st Rocket Brigade. (Polish MND)

Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak approved the establishment of a High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) academy and the 1st Rocket Brigade, Błaszczak's ministry announced on its website on 27 July. The brigade will be based in Toruń in north-central Poland and Orzysz, 120 km from the Belarusian border.

Modelled on the Abrams Tank Training Academy in Biedrusko, the HIMARS academy will provide training and logistics for the system. The training will take place at the Toruń training area, according to Błaszczak. The academy would also be used for co-operation with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which are also procuring HIMARS, he said.

Poland signed a USD414 million Foreign Military Sales agreement with the United States in February 2019 for 20 M142 HIMARS launchers, including two for training; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) ammunition; Low Cost Reduced Range (LCRR) Practice Rockets; command vehicles, ammunition carriers, and trucks; and logistics, training, and technical support.

The Polish army received its first five HIMARSs on 15 May.

Poland is negotiating another HIMARS deal, seeking joint production of both launchers and rockets after the US Congress authorised the sale of nearly 500 launchers to Poland.

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