Following Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak’s declaration in May 2022 that his country was seeking to procure the US M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), on 7 February 2023 the US Defense Security Co-operation Agency notified the US Congress of a potential sale of the system to Poland worth an estimated USD 10 Bn.
Congress has yet to approve the acquisition, after which a contract will be negotiated.
The Polish request includes 18 M142 HIMARS launchers, 468 HIMARS Launcher Loader Module kits, 45 M57 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), 461 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead (GMLRS-AW) missile pods (one pod contains six missiles), 521 M31A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS-U) missile pods, and 532 XM403 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Extended Range Alternative Warhead (GMLRS-ER AW) missile pods.
The HIMARS launchers will be integrated onto Polish wheeled platforms by Polish industry.
With a range of 300 km, the M57 ATACMS is currently the most powerful munition qualified for firing from the HIMARS. The M30A2 GMLRS-AW round has a range of up to 92 km and a warhead consisting of inert preformed tungsten projectiles and a proximity fuze. The M31A2 GMLRS-U round, on the other hand, has a 100 kg warhead. The XM403 GMLRS-ER AW round has an identical warhead to the M30A2, but can be fired up to 150 km.
An unspecified number of low-cost training missiles and a training and logistics package are also part of the proposed sale.
With just under 500 examples of either HIMARS or HIMARS Launcher Loader Modules integrated onto Polish vehicles, around 80 US-style rocket artillery batteries can be established, with each one consisting of six launchers.
Since 2015 Poland had intended to procure about 60 examples of the WR-300 Homar multiple rocket launcher (MRL), which combines HIMARS elements with a Polish Jelcz 6×6 truck chassis. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 the number of rocket artillery systems Poland is to procure has been significantly scaled up.
Poland also signed a framework contract in October 2022 for the procurement of up to 288 Chunmoo K239 MRLs from South Korea’s Hanwha Defense.