Ukraine thanks U.S. for ‘game changing’ weapons system: But what is the HIMARS?

“Built by military contractor Lockheed Martin, the HIMARS, or high-mobility artillery rocket system, can fire the same type of long-range ordnance as a conventional multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), such as the M270, at targets up to 300 kilometers away. It too can put Ukrainian forces out of range of artillery, while placing the Russian batteries at risk.

A crew consisting of driver, gunner, and launcher section chief operate the system, which carries a payload of six precision-guided missiles. A spent munitions pod can be reloaded in mere minutes by trained soldiers.

Yet it has one key difference—the M142 is not a heavy tracked vehicle, like a tank for example, but instead uses a three-axle wheeled chassis one might find in a commercial semitruck.

“This design offers a unique shoot and scoot capability that enables soldiers, Marines and our allies to position, engage and rapidly relocate after firing,” wrote Michael Williamson, vice president and general manager of missiles and fire control at Lockheed Martin, last year in a LinkedIn post.

Thanks to its light weight, the HIMARS is also easily transportable so it can be utilized in locations otherwise hard to reach. It’s even deployable from a C-130 Hercules turboprop transport plane.”