United States selling eight HIMARS systems to Lithuania for USD 495 mln

  • 2022-11-10
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The State Department of the United States has approved the potential sale of eight High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers with missiles to Lithuania for an estimated cost of 495 million US dollars (EUR 493 mln, based on Nov 10 official rate), the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Thursday.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Lithuania of M142 HIMARS launchers and related equipment for an estimated cost of 495 million US dollars. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” the agency said in a press release.

The agency noted that the proposed sale would contribute to Lithuania’s military goals of updating its capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies, help deter regional threats.

Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas described the HIMARS systems as “entirely new and powerful capability, which Lithuania has never had”.

“This capability in the Lithuanian Armed Forces will require to pursue an even higher level of intelligence, electronic combat and other capabilities. Missiles of several types will be delivered, including operational-tactical missiles ATACMS having a range of up to 300 kilometers,” he said in a Facebook post.

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry reported that the main contractor would be Lockheed Martin Corp.

The minister told reporters in the Seimas that the systems would be delivered to Lithuania in several years’ time and would therefore not affect Lithuania’s decisions on sending currently available weapons to Ukraine.

“We will receive them only in 2025 or 2026,” Anusauskas said.

The US agency also said in its press release that implementation of the proposed sale would require US government or contractor representatives to travel to Lithuania for program management reviews to support the program. Travel is expected to occur approximately twice per year as needed to support equipment fielding and training.

The HIMARS is mounted on a platform of military trucks and carries one pod with either six GMLRS guided rockets with a range of up to 70 km or one ATACMS missile with a range of up to 300 km.

The US has sent such systems to Ukraine as part of its military aid to the country which is fighting back against Russia's invasion.  

Baltic countries’ officials have also announced plans by Latvia and Estonia to acquire HIMARS systems.