Pentagon doubles order for HIMARS launchers, raising total cost to $1.93 billion

The US Department of Defense has expanded a contract with Lockheed Martin to deliver multiple rocket launcher systems

The Pentagon on Monday announced an expansion of a contract with arms maker Lockheed Martin to deliver M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) multiple rocket launchers, bumping the value of the equipment ordered to nearly $2 billion.

The original $861-million contract to procure the launchers was announced last month, with its conclusion expected by May 2026. The modified contract is now worth $1.93 billion, with the completion date moved two years beyond the original schedule. Apart from the military hardware itself, the arms manufacturer will provide the Pentagon with associated support services.

The US military did not disclose any further details about the procurement, such as the intended end-user of the launchers or even an exact number of the vehicles. Previous contracts, however, suggest the cost of a single system hovers around the $21-million mark. For instance, in February 2019, Poland purchased 20 HIMARS launchers for $414 million. Therefore, the new procurement by the Pentagon likely includes around 100 vehicles.

The systems of this type have seen extensive use during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with Kiev receiving from its Western backers dozens of launchers, as well as their derivatives that were being used by several European militaries. While the systems have been long touted by Ukrainian propaganda as a high-precision tool to strike high-value assets, debris from HIMARS munitions has repeatedly been recovered after strikes on purely civilian targets.

The Russian military has claimed the destruction of multiple HIMARS units amid hostilities. Some of the kills have been corroborated by aerial surveillance videos, shared by Moscow.