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The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army, mounted on a standard Army M1140 truck frame.

M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
HIMARS - missile launched.jpg
HIMARS at the White Sands Missile Range in January 2005.
TypeRocket artillery, Tactical ballistic
Place of originUnited States
Service history
WarsWar in Afghanistan
Syrian Civil War[1]
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)[2]
Production history
ManufacturerLockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
BAE Systems (Chassis)
Unit cost$5.1 million (2014)[3]
Mass35,800[4] lb (16,200 kg)
Length7 m (23 ft 0 in)
Width2.4 m (7 ft 10.5 in)
Height3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)

Caliber227 mm (8.9 in)
Rate of fire1, 2, 4, All 6
Effective firing rangebetween 2 km (1.2 mi) and 300 km (190 mi)
Maximum firing range300 km (190 mi)

480 km (298 mi)
Speed85 km/h (52.8 mph)

The HIMARS carries six rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile on the U.S. Army's new Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) five-ton truck, and can launch the entire Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). HIMARS ammunition is interchangeable with the MLRS M270A1, however it is only able to carry one pod rather than the standard two for the M270 and A1 variants. It was designed as a small, mobile, MLRS, with the ability to 'shoot-and-scoot'.[5]

The launcher is C-130 transportable.[6] The chassis is produced by BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems (formerly Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group Tactical Vehicle Systems Division), the OEM of the FMTV. The rocket launching system is produced by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control.


The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is the light, wheeled version of the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). The HIMARS utilizes the same pod as the M270 MLRS uses. A pod can hold six rockets or a single missile. The windows are made of glass and layers of sapphire.[7]

The 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina was the initial army test bed unit for the M142 HIMARS. C Battery, 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment began field testing 3 HIMARS prototypes in all types of training events and environments in 1998 as a residual of the Rapid Force Projection Initiative (RFPI) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD). In 2002, the United States Marine Corps arranged with the United States Army to acquire 40 of the systems. Fielding began in 2005. In July 2007, Marines from Fox Battery 2nd Battalion 14th Marine Regiment from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma were deployed to the Al Anbar province of Iraq, the first Marine unit to use the HIMARS in combat.

HIMARS was also tested as a common launcher for both artillery rockets and the SLAMRAAM surface-launched variant of the AMRAAM anti-aircraft missile.[8]

In October 2017, a Marine Corps HIMARS fired a rocket while at sea against a land target for the first time from the deck of the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage, demonstrating the system's ability to operate while on ships to deliver precision fire from a standoff range from shore defenses.[9] The vehicle's targeting software was reworked so it can better fire while on a constantly moving and maneuvering launch platform.[10]


As of September 2007, the Singapore Army proposed to acquire HIMARS systems. The package includes 24 HIMARS launchers, 9 FMTV 5-Ton Trucks and XM31 unitary HE GMLRS pods, plus associated support and communications equipment and services. This proposed package is notable for not involving the M-26 unguided MLRS rockets. In late 2009, Singapore took delivery of the first HIMARS firing unit and achieved Full Operational Capability. The 23rd Battalion, Singapore artillery commissioned its HIMARS battery on 5 September 2011. It marks the first fully GPS-guided HIMARS unit.

Operational historyEdit

On February 14, 2010, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan indicated in a press release that it was thought that two rockets fired from a HIMARS unit fell 300 metres short of their intended target and killed 12 civilians during Operation Moshtarak. ISAF suspended the use of the HIMARS until a full review of the incident was completed.[11] A British officer later said that the rockets were on target, that the target was in use by the Taliban, and use of the system has been reinstated.[12] Reports indicate that the civilian deaths were due to the Taliban's use of an occupied dwelling; the presence of civilians at that location was not known to the ISAF forces.[13] An October 21, 2010 report in the New York Times credited HIMARS with aiding the NATO offensive in Kandahar by targeting Taliban commanders' hideouts, forcing many to flee to Pakistan, at least temporarily.[14]

In November 2015, the United States Army revealed they had deployed the HIMARS to Iraq, firing at least 400 rockets at the Islamic State since the beginning of summer.[15] HIMARS detachments were sent to Al Asad Airbase and Al-Taqaddum Air Base in Al Anbar Governorate. On 4 March 2016, Army HIMARS fired rockets into Syria in support of Syrian rebels fighting ISIL for the first time, with the launchers based in neighboring Jordan.[16]

In January 2016, Lockheed announced the HIMARS had reached 1 million operational hours with U.S. forces, achieving a 99 percent operational readiness rate.[17]

On April 26, 2016, it was announced that the U.S. would be deploying the HIMARS in Turkey near the border with Syria as part of the battle with ISIL.[18] In early September, international media and the U.S. State Department reported a newly deployed HIMARS had engaged ISIL targets in Syria near the Turkish border.[19][20][21]

In October 2016, HIMARS were stationed at Qayyarah Airfield West, some 65 kilometers south of Mosul, taking part in the Battle of Mosul.[22]

On June 14, 2017, a HIMARS was deployed at Al-Tanf Syria to support U.S.-backed rebels in the area.[23][24]

On May 24, 2018, a HIMARS strike killed 50 Taliban fighters and leaders in Musa Qala, Afghanistan.[25] Three rockets precisely struck the building within a 14-second timespan.[26]

Starting in September 2018, US support forces have been coordinating with Syrian Democratic Forces fighting to defeat ISIS in east Syria in the Deir ez-Zor campaign. On a daily basis, they have struck ISIS positions with HIMARS rockets, sometimes using as many as 30 rockets per day.[27][28][29][30][31] The HIMARS systems used in this support operation are located in the Omar Oilfields, some 25 km north of the ISIS-controlled targets.[32]


An MFOR rocket is launched from a HIMARS
Crew: 3: Gunner, Driver, and Launcher Chief
Weight: 16,200 kg (35,800 lb)
Length: 7 m
Width: 2.4 m
Height: 3.2 m
Vehicle Range: 480 km
Road Speed: 85 km/hour
Armament: 6 × 227 mm M270 series rockets or 1 MGM-140 ATACMS missile

Related developmentsEdit

Lockheed Martin UK and INSYS had jointly developed a demonstrator rocket artillery system similar to HIMARS for the British Army's 'Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System/Rocket' (LIMAWS(R)) program. The system consisted of a single MLRS pod, mounted on a Supacat SPV600 chassis.[33] The LIMAWS(R) programs was cancelled in September 2007.[34]


Map with HIMARS operators in blue

Current operatorsEdit

  United States


  United Arab Emirates


  • Jordanian Army (12)
    • 29th HIMARS Battalion, Jordan Royal Artillery Command

Potential and future operatorsEdit


The Department of National Defence considered the purchase of HIMARS. The former Chief of the Land Staff, Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie, said the plan to acquire rocket launchers was something that "would be considered much further down the road—possibly in the 2012 time frame.[37][38][39][40]


In December 2012, Qatar notified the U.S. of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 7 M142 HIMARS systems, as well as 60 M57 MGM-140 ATACMS Block 1A T2K unitary rockets and 30 M31A1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) unitary rockets. The deal would cost an estimated $406 million.[41]


New Multiple Launch Rocket System. Program WR-300 "Homar" Poland. Multiple Launch Rocket System Cooperation between Huta Stalowa Wola, ZM Mesko and Lockheed Martin. 160 launchers are to be acquired, and to be mounted on a Jelcz 663 6x6 chassis.[42][43] In October 2018, Poland officially requested the purchase of the rocket launchers, after the US Department of Defense cleared the purchase of up to 56 launchers in November 2017.[44][45] On 29 November 2018 US State Department approved the sale to Poland. [46]


In 2017 the US State Department has authorized the sale of 54 HIMARS launch vehicles, related resupply systems and ammunition to Romania.[47] In February 2018 the Romanian government approved the purchase.[48][49][50]


The South China Morning Post, citing a report from the Center for a New American Security on an article dated 02 April 2019, said that the governments of the Philippines and the United States are discussing the potential sale or deployment of the HIMARS to the former to deter China's "militarization" of artificial islands in contested areas of the South China Sea. If deployed, the long-range, precision-guided rockets fired by the system would be able to strike Chinese man-made islands on reefs in the Spratly Islands. However, the two sides have been unable to reach a deal because the HIMARS could be too expensive for the Philippines given its limited budget.[51]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gung Ho Vids. "HIMARS Strike At Night In Iraq • 2016 Mosul Advance" – via YouTube.
  3. ^ Oestergaard, Joakim. "About the HIMARS". Aeroweb. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ tom clancy airborne nonfiction book
  6. ^ "YouTube".
  7. ^ "Saint-Gobain delivers sapphire-engineered transparent armor" UPI / press release, 5 November 2013. Accessed: 19 June 2014.
  8. ^ HIMARS Launcher Successfully Fires Air Defense Missile
  9. ^ Marines launch rocket from amphibious ship to destroy land target 70 km away -, 24 October 2017
  10. ^ Marines Fire HIMARS From Ship in Sea Control Experiment With Navy -, 24 October 2017
  11. ^ ISAF Weapon Fails to Hit Intended Target, 12 Civilians Killed Archived 2014-10-27 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Operation Moshtarak: missiles that killed civilians 'hit correct target'". Telegraph. 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  13. ^ "Artillery: It Wasn't Me". 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  14. ^ Gall, Carlotta (20 October 2010). "Coalition Routs Taliban in Southern Afghanistan". New York Times.
  15. ^ "The U.S. Army Hurls Hundreds of Rockets at Islamic State". Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  16. ^ In a first, U.S. forces in Jordan have attacked ISIS in Syria, Military Times, 11 March 2016
  17. ^ HIMARS High Mobility Artillery Rocket System achieves one million operational hours milestone -, 14 January 2016
  18. ^ Pamuk, Humeyra (26 April 2016). "Turkish minister says U.S. to deploy rocket launchers near Syrian border". Reuters. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  19. ^ Reuters (2016-09-03). "US forces hit Isis targets in Syria with mobile rocket system, official says". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  20. ^ "US Embassy Turkey on Twitter". Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  21. ^ "Brett McGurk on Twitter". Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  22. ^ CNN visits Qayyara airbase at frontlines of war against ISIS -, 25 October 2016
  23. ^ "US deploys HIMARS artillery near al-Tanf, previously used to strike ISIS in Syria from Turkey and Jordan". Map of Syrian Civil War - Syria news and incidents today -
  24. ^ "US rocket artillery deployed to southern Syria for first time". Middle East Eye.
  25. ^
  26. ^ vlogger (30 May 2018). "HIMARS Strike on High-Level Taliban Command and Control".
  27. ^ sdf (9 October 2018). "The outcome of engagements in the battle to defeat terrorism".
  28. ^ sdf (12 October 2018). "The outcome of engagements in "the battle to defeat terrorism"".
  29. ^ sdf (16 October 2018). "outcome of Engagements in the battle to defeat terrorism".
  30. ^ sdf (23 October 2018). "Outcome of engagements in the battle to defeat terrorism".
  31. ^ Woofers (17 October 2018). "The SDF has regularly been reporting @coalition artillery and airstrikes throughout the offensive to take the Hajin pocket. But they've been noting HIMARS launches which I personally find interesting. These MLRS systems fire a rocket just over twice the side of a grad rocket".
  32. ^ News, Strategic (16 September 2018). "Photo of a #US M142 HIMARS system located in the Omar Oil Field Green Village, which supports #SDF forces in the offensive on #Baghuz.".
  33. ^ "Missiles and Fire Support at DSEi 2007".
  34. ^ UK cancels LIMAWS Gun to pay for operations,, 04 September 2007
  35. ^ "75th FA BDE - 1-14th FAR".
  36. ^ "Integration at its best". Ministry of Defence (Singapore). 2010-01-04. Archived from the original on 2012-08-05. Retrieved 1 May 2011. Men from 23 SA had commenced training with the US Army's HIMARS in March 2009.
  37. ^ "CASR Background — Artillery — Long-Range Precision Rocket System". Canadian American Strategic Review. Archived from the original on 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  38. ^ "Canadian army shopping for rocket launchers". CTV. 2009-01-08. Archived from the original on 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  39. ^ "Canada Seeks MLRS Rocket Systems". Defense Industry Daily. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  40. ^ "Long Range Precision Rocket System (LRPRS) – A Multiple- Launch Rocket System – MERX LOI Letter of Interest Notice". Canadian American Strategic Review. Archived from the original on 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  41. ^ Qatar Requests Sale of HIMARS, ATACMS and GMLRS -, December 24, 2012
  42. ^ Palowski, Jakub (12 July 2017). "Macierewicz: Poland to get 160 HIMARS-Based Homar Rocket Systems". Defence24. Archived from the original on 20 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  43. ^ "Queen of Battles: Poland's New Artillery Programs (2014 snapshot)". Defense Industry Daily. 4 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  44. ^ Judson, Jen (19 October 2018). "Poland makes official request for US rocket launchers". Defense News. Washington. Archived from the original on 20 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  45. ^ "Poland – High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)". Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Washington. 28 November 2017. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  46. ^ "US State Dept. OKs sale of artillery rocket system to Poland". Polskie Radio dla Zagranicy.
  47. ^ "US Approves $1.2 Billion HIMARS, Army Missile Systems Sale to Romania". Defense World. 2017-08-19. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  48. ^ Tudor, Radu (16 February 2018). "Romanian government approves purchase of HIMARS, corvettes". IHS Jane's 360. Bucharest. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  49. ^ "Romania approves purchase of US M142 HIMARS missile/rocket launchers". Army Recognition. 17 February 2018. Archived from the original on 17 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  50. ^ Pecheanu, Gabriel (15 February 2018). "Înzestrarea Armatei Române. Achiziţionarea sistemelor HIMARS şi hotărârea privind programul pentru corvete multifuncţionale, aprobate în şedinţă de Guvern". Mediafax (in Romanian). Bucharest. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  51. ^

External linksEdit