Canberra: Australia will get unparalleled long-range strike capability with the purchase of the US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) system, Australia-based broadcaster ABC News reported.
The US-made HIMARS system has previously been praised in Ukraine for its effectiveness against the invading Russian forces.
A deal has been finalised by the Australian government to buy 20 of the truck-mounted rocket launchers by 2026. Another deal has also been signed to acquire the Norwegian-made Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) for Australian warships in 2024, reported ABC News.
The government said the purchase will cost somewhere between one and two billion dollars.
Australia’s Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy during his US visit held “productive discussions” with the US Army and Lockheed Martin on how Australia could start producing the rockets used in HIMARS.
A Ukrainian strike using the US-made HIMARS system killed hundreds of Russian soldiers in the Donetsk region. According to Conroy, HIMARS’ deadly precision in Ukraine proves why Australia should acquire the technology.
“We’ll have an Army ground-launched missile that can reach targets up to 300 kilometres away and we’re part of a developmental program in the United States called the precision strike missile that’ll allow Army to hit targets in excess of 499 kilometres,” Conroy said as quoted by ABC News.
The Australian Congress was seven months ago, told about a possible sale of the Lockheed Martin-produced HIMARS to Australia.
“The Naval Strike Missile is a major step up in capability for our Navy’s warships, while HIMARS launchers have been successfully deployed by the Ukrainian military over recent months and are a substantial new capability for the Army,” Conroy said.
Recently, a Ukrainian drone strike hit an energy facility in Russia’s Bryansk region causing a power outage in a nearby village.
Moscow said that 63 Russian soldiers have been killed due to Ukraine’s strike through US-manufactured HIMARS in Donetsk, TASS reported. The Russian Defence Ministry said that Ukrainian forces hit six rockets of HIMARS at the temporary deployment point of Russian armed forces in the Makiivka region of Donetsk.
“The Kyiv regime struck with six rockets of the US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket system at the temporary deployment point of one of the units of the Russian armed forces in the area of the settlement of Makiivka in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” TASS quoted the Russian Defence Ministry as saying.
“As a result of the destruction of four missiles with a high-explosive warhead of the temporary deployment point, 63 Russian servicemen were killed,” it further said.