The joint efforts of the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, to develop defense capabilities together is the guarantor of security in the region. For that reason, the joint procurement aiming to build up the defensive capacity of the three Baltic states are focused on several priority areas in mind: acquisition of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, HIMARS, including joint integration of the new capability into the defense plans of all three countries, then, acquisition of integrated air and missile defense system, development of the Maritime Situational Awareness capability for the joint defense of the three Baltic states, increase of ammunition stockpiles, and strengthening of the Special Operations Forces.
Lithuania and Estonia signed the agreement on acquisition of HIMARS with the United States in late 2022 and Latvia is planned to do the same this year. The first deliveries to the Baltic states are scheduled to take place in 2025. The Baltic states are also engaged in active collaboration in the negotiations with the U.S. concerning HIMARS integration elements, such as personnel training, maintained and sustainment. The signed M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) acquisition contract covers procurement of 8 launchers with live and blank ammunition including different types and combat characteristic guided missile pods, for example, the ATACMS Army Tactical Missile Systems with the effective range of 300 km.
Lithuania also procures training and system maintenance equipment, services for personnel training, system integration and connection with the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS). The deal is assessed to be worth approx. USD 495 million. The U.S. Government will place the order with the principal sale contractor, U.S. company Lockheed Martin. The acquired artillery rocket system is compatible with the other technologies used in the Lithuanian Armed Forces, therefore easier to integrate into the existing defenSe plans and thus step up deterrence.
The M142 HIMARS is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army and mounted on a standard United States Army Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) truck frame. The HIMARS carries one pod with either six GMLRS rockets or one ATACMS missile. It is based on the United States Army’s FMTV five-ton truck, and is capable of launching all rockets specified in the Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). HIMARS ammunition pods are interchangeable with the M270 MLRS; however, it is limited to a single pod as opposed to the standard two for the M270 and its variants. The launcher can be transported by Airbus A400M Atlas and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft.