The US Army has awarded a $289m contract to Lockheed Martin for the production of new high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) launchers and associated hardware.
Under the deal, Lockheed Martin will be responsible for manufacturing 24 units of the HIMARS launchers and related equipment for the army by July 2022.
To date, the company has delivered approximately 500 rocket launchers for use by the US Army and international customers.
Lockheed Martin will manufacture the HIMARS vehicles from the ground up at the company’s Precision Fires Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas, US.
HIMARS is a lightweight mobile launcher that can be transported onboard a C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and other larger aircraft for rapid deployment.
The launcher is used by the army to fire guided multiple launch rocket system (GMLRS) rockets and army tactical missile system (ATACMS) missiles.
The system comprises a launcher loader module and fire control system installed on a 5t truck chassis, while a specialised armoured cab offers additional protection to the three crew members deployed to operate the system.
Belonging to the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) family, HIMARS was designed and developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to engage and defeat artillery, air defence concentrations, trucks, light armour and personnel carriers, while supporting troops and supplying concentrations.
The vehicle is capable of launching the weapons and rapidly moving away from the site before enemy forces can locate the launch location.
In August this year, the company received a $218m contract from the US Army to manufacture and deliver 18 HIMARS launchers and associated equipment to an international customer by December 2020.