Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Italy of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and associated equipment, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) reported on 15 December 2023.

The potential sale, which is worth an estimated USD 400 M (EUR 363 M), has been passed to the US Congress for final approval.

Italy has requested to buy 21 M142 HIMARS and one M31A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS-U) High Explosive (HE) Pod with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System. Also included in the deal are various items of additional equipment, such as communication systems, as well as related programme and logistics support.

“Italy requests these capabilities to provide for the defence of deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the United States,” the DSCA noted. “The proposed sale will improve Italy’s capability to meet current and future threats and enhance its interoperability with US and other allied forces.

The Italian Army is already an operator of the Lockheed Martin M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, which shares the same pods and rocket rounds as the HIMARS, but the latter is mounted on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) truck chassis as opposed to being tracked and carries half the load-out of an M270 (ie one pod with either six GMLRS rockets or one Army Tactical Missile System missile).

The principal contractor for the sale will be Lockheed Martin out of its facilities in Grand Prairie, Texas.

US Marines loading an M142 HIMARS during an exercise in California in April 2017. Italy, which is already an MLRS user, has requested 21 M142 systems. (Photo: USMC)