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Armed Forces

Poland Gets Approval for Its HIMARS Deal. USD 10 bn. and Polish Base Platform

Artist vision of the WR-300 Homar system - a Polonized M142 HIMARS system dating back to 2017/2018.
Photo. PGZ

DSCA approved a sale of 486 HIMARS launchers, and more than 9 thousand guided rocket and missiles, at a price of up to USD 10 bn.

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According to the release issued by the State Department, the package includes:

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  • 18 M142 HIMARS launchers
  • 468 Launcher-Loader Module Kits, designed to install launchers on the carrier platform; these would be integrated onto Jelcz trucks
  • 521 sets of GMLRS Unitary projectiles, with motor meeting the guidelines for non-sensitive materials (6 rockets per container, 3,126 projectiles in total, with a range of ca. 85 km, HE warhead)
  • 532 GMLRS Alternative Warhead Extended Range projectile sets (6 rockets per container, 3,192 in total, range of 150-200 kilometers, warhead designed to attack area targets, but with no cluster munitions)
  • 461 GMLRS Alternative Warhead projectiles (6 rockets per container, 2,766 in total, range of ca. 85 kilometers, warhead designed to attack area targets, but with no cluster munitions)
  • 45 tactical ATACMS missiles, with a range exceeding 300 kilometers
  • Elements needed for maintenance and support, extra equipment, training munitions, and so on.
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The total value of the package is as high as USD 10 bn. One should remember, however, that the final amount may be lower if the scope of the signed agreement is also diminished. The request placed to procure almost 500 HIMARS launchers was placed last year. However, the Polish Ministry of Defence also decided to acquire the South Korean K239 Chunmoo in the meantime. The framework agreement regarding the former ones concerns 288 launchers, including 218 covered by the first performance contract (along with several thousand missiles of two types). The work under the first contract is to be completed by 2027.

In practical terms, the number of procured HIMARS systems would be lower. The transfer of technology will be broader, as it is assumed that Polish Jelcz trucks would be used, and, Topaz fire control system and domestic command and support vehicles, as the previously released information, had suggested. Noteworthy, the release issued by DSCA does not mention the command vehicles, which could indicate the fact that Polish solutions are expected to be used here. The notification also mentions some unspecified communications hardware. No specific info has been given on whether that applies to all launchers, or just some of them, and what the specification may be.

Lockheed Martin has been listed as the key contractor. According to DSCA, there are no known offset agreements tied to the proposed sale. The release stresses, however, that any future offset agreements would need to be negotiated between the buyer, and specific US-based contractors. Other options are also on the table. Including signing agreements on command vehicles via memoranda signed by and between the Polish Ministry of Defence, and domestic contractors, or via B2B agreements.

In the end, the commissioning of at least some of the approved HIMARS launchers, and the Chunmoo system, would constitute a major challenge within the scope of logistics, training, and cadre of the Rocket and Artillery component. The system will need to become a part of structures established from the ground up, or ones that would receive systems of incomparably lower combat capabilities - BM-21, Grad, RM-70.

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