How US-Built M142 HIMARS Rocket Artillery Helps Ukraine Fight Russia

The HIMARS is one of today's most mobile rocket artillery pieces and can wreak havoc over long distances with deadly precision.
HIMARS DA-SD

Rocket artillery is one of the most deadly weapons for enemy troops. It is particularly lethal for Infantry and armored vehicles.

That’s why the United States is increasingly equipping Ukraine with HIMARS and helping Ukrainian troops in their fight against Russian troops in the Donbas region.

What is The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System?

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System HIMARS
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System HIMARS by Charles Rosemond. Public Domain.

The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (or HIMARS) is a mobile missile launcher used by the United States Army.

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It is capable of firing both rockets and missiles, making it a versatile weapon system. The launcher can be transported by helicopter or truck, making it easy to deploy in any environment. 

This artillery system is designed to be highly mobile and versatile, capable of firing various missiles and rockets. As a result, they are an essential part of the military’s arsenal.

It is armed with six rockets or one missile and can be reloaded in less than 60 seconds, making it a very fast and effective weapon system. Also, the HIMARS can fire GPS-guided missiles with a crew of three operators: the driver, gunner, and commander.

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HIMARS has been used extensively in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In Iraq, it was employed to provide close support for ground troops and attack targets in urban areas.

In Afghanistan, HIMARS was used primarily for counter-insurgency operations, attacking Taliban strongholds in the mountains.

How does it work?

HIMARS
HIMARS by Ali Azimi. Public Domain

The M142 HIMARS consists of a launcher, fire control system, and a rocket motor. The launcher is mounted on a heavy-duty truck chassis and can be elevated up to 80 degrees for firing.

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The fire control system assists in targeting, tracking and hitting its target, and the rocket motors propel the munitions towards the target.

Rockets are unguided munitions that are ideal for attacking larger areas, while missiles are guided munitions that can be used to engage targets at long range with better precision.

And the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is very accurate, with a CEP (Circular Error Probability) of less than 20 meters. This means that the vast majority of munitions fired from HIMARS will land within 20 meters of the target, making it an incredibly effective weapon system.

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This artillery piece can cost anywhere from $5 million to $6 million, depending on the specific model and configuration. However, this does not include the costs of ammunition, training, or maintenance. 

The M142 has been deployed in Ukraine

Shoot for the HIMARS
Shoot for the HIMARS by Sarah Pysher. Public Domain.

The US sent the HIMARS to Ukraine in May. Since then, it has helped Ukrainian troops on multiple fronts with its devastating firepower.

HIMARS.
HIMARS by Nathan Clark. Public Domain.

Especially in the contested areas of eastern Ukraine, where both Russia and Ukrainian troops are firing the best they have in their artillery.

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In addition, they carry out constant shelling as the area has been at war since 2014, and much of its infrastructure is already destroyed.

Ukrainian troops are using HIMARS against Russian troops in the Donbas region. Despite being up against heavy Russian artillery, the system proved effective.

Some experts consider that Ukraine is launching so many attacks in the Dombas because it is difficult for them to recover the area under Russian control – and they plan to leave it completely razed to the ground.

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On the other hand, Russia also carries out large attacks. It generates considerable casualties, mainly when Ukraine mobilizes volunteer troops with little military experience on a battlefield where all-out war is taking place.

Artillery is gaining more weight in the Ukrainian War

Since the Ukrainian troops have the HIMARS, the war has taken on a new nuance. Now, artillery attacks are much more common and cause significant damage to the Russian bases, which are also defending themselves and making severe losses to the Ukrainian headquarters.


Featured image credit: HIMARS DA-SD by LCPL Seth Maggard. Public Domain.

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