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July 18, 2022

US approves sale of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to Estonia

The $500m sale is intended to support Estonia in its mission to modernise its armed forces and strengthen its capabilities.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Estonia.

The estimated $500m sale, including related equipment, was approved by the US State Department.

Apart from six M142 HIMARS launchers, Estonia placed a request to buy 36 M30A2 guided multiple launch rocket system (GMLRS) alternative warhead missile pods, with insensitive munitions propulsion systems (IMPS) and frequency modulated continuous wave-directional doppler ranging (FMCW-DDR) proximity height-of-burst (HOB) sensor capabilities.

A total of 36 M31A2 GMLRS unitary high explosive (HE) missile pods, with a IMPS and FMCW-DDR proximity HOB sensor capability, 36 XM403 extended range GMLRS alternative warhead (AW) missile pods, and ruggedised laptops, among other equipment and logistic support, are also part of the proposed procurement.

Lockheed Martin will serve as the principal contractor for the FMS.

As many as 15 representatives from the US Government and 15 from the contractor firm are likely to be assigned with the task of the delivery, training, and testing of the HIMARS launchers.

The sale is expected to help Estonia modernise its armed forces and strengthen its capabilities for homeland security.  

According to DSCA, the proposed sale of equipment to a Nato ally will support the US’ foreign policy and ensure enhanced security in Estonia.

A senior military official of the US Department of Defense (DoD) said the HIMARS systems delivered to Ukraine have been effective in supporting the Ukrainian forces fighting Russian aggression.  

The official said the Ukrainian armed forces have been successfully defending their regions near Kharkiv and Sloviansk.

The official added: “If you think about the fact that the Ukrainians have been talking about a number of the targets [they] are hitting […] they’re spending a lot of time striking targets like ammunition, supplies, other logistical supplies, command and control.

“Although they’re not shooting the HIMARS at the front lines, they are having a very, very significant effect on that.”

Apart from eight HIMARS systems already sent to Ukraine, the US recently pledged to deliver four more.

Developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, HIMARS is a highly mobile artillery rocket system that offers the firepower of the MLRS on a wheeled chassis.

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