The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Latvia of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $220 million. The Government of the Republic of Latvia has requested to buy six (6) M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); twelve (12) M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS); twelve (12) M31A2 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) High Explosive Pods with IMPS; and ten (10) M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Pods. Also included are Reduced Range Practice Rocket (RRPR) Pods; intercom systems to support the HIMARS Launcher; ruggedized laptops;training equipment; publications for HIMARS, munitions, spares; and other related elements of program and logistic support.
The M142 HIMARS (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 U.S. Army Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) M1140 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 U.S. 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 C-17 Globemaster, C-5 Galaxy, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft.
The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) 227mm rockets have an extended range and add GPS-aided guidance to their Inertial Navigation System. GMLRS rockets were introduced in 2005 and the M30 and M31 rockets are, except for their warheads, identical. As of 1 December 2021 50,000 GMLRS rockets have been produced, with yearly production now exceeding 9,000 rockets. Each rocket pod contains 6 identical rockets. Both Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army report that the GMLRS has a maximum range of 70+ km (43+ mi). According to a U.S. Department of Defense document the maximum demonstrated performance of a GMLRS is 84 km (52 mi), a figure also reported elsewhere. Another source reports a maximum range of about 90 km (56 mi). In 2009 Lockheed Martin announced that a GMLRS had been successfully test fired 92 km (57 mi).
The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is a tactical ballistic missile manufactured by the US defense company Lockheed Martin. It uses solid propellant, is 13 feet (4.0 m) high and 24 inches (610 mm) in diameter, and the longest range variants can fly up to 190 miles (300 km).ATACMS is a long-range, guided missile that gives commanders the immediate firepower to shape the battlespace. The missiles can be fired from the tracked M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the wheeled M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). An ATACMS launch container has a lid patterned with six circles like a standard MLRS rocket lid, but contains only one missile – the identical pattern makes it more challenging for enemy intelligence to single it out as a high-value target.