U.S. moves forward with 220-million-dollar HIMARS sale to Latvia

The U.S. State Department said October 24 it was in favor of selling the acclaimed HIMARS rocket system to Latvia.

A release said the State Department "has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Latvia of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $220 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today."

Furthermore, it specified precisely what Latvia is asking for, saying:

"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; training equipment; publications for HIMARS, munitions, and spares; services; other support equipment; and other related elements of program and logistic support. The estimated total program cost is $220 million."

The proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe, the note added.

It would also "improve Latvia’s capability to meet current and future threats, and will enhance its interoperability with U.S. and other allied forces. Latvia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," the State Depoartment expanded.

However, there is still some wat to go before the sale is completed. As well as the approval of Congress, the proposed sale will require the assignment of two U.S. Government and five contractor representatives to Latvia for a period of one year. Additional U.S. Government or contractor representative travel to Latvia will be required for program management reviews, the note said. This travel is expected to occur approximately twice a year or as needed to support equipment fielding and training.

As previously reported by LSM, Latvia signalled its desire to buy six HIMARS systems a year ago, and a demonstration of its capabilities has already been given several times on Latvian soil, as you can see in the video below. 

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