In a significant move towards modernizing its defense capabilities and enhancing NATO’s collective security, Poland has taken a major step by acquiring the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). On July 27, Minister of National Defense Mariusz B?aszczak signed the decision to create the HIMARS Academy and the 1st Rocket Brigade, marking a pivotal moment in Poland’s efforts to bolster its defense potential. The HIMARS system has demonstrated its prowess during missile exercises, showcasing its impressive range of up to 300 km. Minister B?aszczak emphasized that this highly effective weapon would act as a deterrent to potential aggressors, instilling fear in adversaries and safeguarding Poland against any hostile actions. The establishment of the HIMARS Academy signifies Poland’s commitment to train artillery specialists and command staff to operate the HIMARS launchers at the highest level. Drawing inspiration from the successful Abrams Academy model, the HIMARS Academy will cater to everything related to logistics and HIMARS service, ensuring that the personnel are well-equipped to handle and maintain this advanced weaponry.
The Polish Army has the ability to fire at long distances. Our task, the task of the Polish authorities, is to equip the Polish Army with effective weapons, proven weapons, weapons that deter the aggressor, which will make Russia not dare to attack Poland. And this is the weapon that the Polish Army is equipped with. Today we could see that in the hands of Polish soldiers, trained both in the United States and in Poland, it is a great weapon to deter the aggressor. From now on, we have the Missile Forces Brigade, which is located in two locations – here in Toru? and in Orzysz. To train more artillerymen, today we established the Himars Academy – modeled on the Abrams Academy. I am also confident that together with our American partners we will train more Himars crews so that both those that are already in our country – those Himars – and those that will be equipped with the Polish Army will be operated by soldiers trained at the highest level,” said Minister Mariusz B?aszczak at the training ground in Toru?.
This investment is not just focused on Poland’s defense alone but also aims to foster cooperation and interoperability with allies from the Baltic states. Countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have also procured HIMARS launchers from the United States, creating a unified front among NATO members in the region. The HIMARS system will be integrated into Polish chassis and ICT systems, further advancing Poland’s indigenous defense industry and its self-reliance in the defense sector. The commitment to this modernization process ensures that the Polish Army remains a robust and reliable force, instilling confidence among the nation’s citizens and showcasing its strength to the world. The acquisition of HIMARS and the establishment of the HIMARS Academy signal Poland’s unwavering commitment to national defense and its dedication to being a valued partner within the NATO alliance. With these new capabilities, Poland stands tall as a secure and safe nation, making its mark as a reliable friend and ally on the international stage.
The M142 HIMARS (M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) 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 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets or one Army Tactical Missile System (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. Under a 2019 contract, Poland is spending some $414 million (380 million euros) to buy 18 advanced combat HIMARS launchers and two HIMARS training launchers, with ammunition and related equipment. The deal includes logistics and training. The launchers will go to the 1st Artillery Brigade in northeastern Poland In February 2023, Poland ordered GMLRS-ER AW missiles.