First HIMARS Systems Arrive in Poland

Monday, 15 May 2023

Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence of Poland, has announced the arrival of the first HIMARS missile systems in the country; the weapon systems arrived at the military airfield at Warsaw's Okęcie Airport.

"The first American HIMARS missile systems are already in Poland, they will go to the 16th Mechanised Division. I am also optimistic about the next contract for these systems; I have held negotiations with the manufacturer and the US Secretary of Defence," PAP quotes Błaszczak.

"We are negotiating another agreement on HIMARS; the US Congress has approved the sale of almost 500 systems to Poland. They will be delivered to Poland as soon as possible and will be mounted on the Jelcz chassis (Jelcz is a Polish brand that develops trucks and military vehicles – ed.). We want the joint production of HIMARS, both missile systems and missiles themselves, to take place in Poland as part of this new contract, which is currently being negotiated. This is the goal we are setting for ourselves," the minister said.

The minister reiterated that the HIMARS Academy will soon be established in the city of Toruń, training soldiers how to operate these systems, as well as how to deal with logistics and maintenance of this equipment. "We know, as we observe what is happening in Ukraine, that artillery plays a key role, (...) so we are making efforts to increase its capabilities," he added.

In 2019, the Polish Defence Ministry ordered 20 systems wheeled M142 HIMARS multiple rocket artillery systems, including two training units, and relevant equipment. The cost of the contract was US$414 million. Along with the systems, the Polish side ordered GMLRS missiles with a firing range of about 70 km, and ATACMS missiles, with a firing range of up to 300 km, as well as training ammunition (LCRRPR), command vehicles and vehicles providing technical protection. The agreement also provides for logistical, training and technical support.

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