— Defense News (@defense_news) August 18, 2017
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency released the news on Friday 18 August of the possible sale to Romania of a large number of artillery systems and related support and equipment, for a total of $1.25 billion. In its statement, it said that:
“The Government of Romania has requested the possible sale of fifty-four (54) High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) Launchers, eighty-one (81) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) M31A1 Unitary, eighty-one (81) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) M30A1 Alternative Warhead, fifty-four (54) Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) M57 Unitary, twenty-four (24) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (AFATDS), fifteen (15) M1151A1 HMMWVs, Utility, Armored, and fifteen (15) M1151A1 HMMWVs, Armor Ready 2-Man. Also included with this request are: fifty-four (54) M1084A1P2 HIMARS Resupply Vehicles (RSVs) (5 ton, Medium Tactical Cargo Vehicle with Material Handling Equipment), fifty-four (54) M1095 MTV Cargo Trailer with RSV kit, and ten (10) M1089A1P2 FMTV Wreckers (5 Ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Wrecker with Winch), thirty (30) Low Cost Reduced Range (LCRR) practice rockets, support equipment, communications equipment, sensors, spare and repair parts, test sets, batteries, laptop computers, publications and technical data, facility design, training and training equipment, systems integration support, Quality Assurance Teams and a Technical Assistance Fielding Team, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.“
If the sale is approved, Romania will be the fifth country to operate HIMARS, and the first European country to do so. Entering service with the US Army in June 2005, HIMARS is the wheeled, light variant of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) family. Operated by a three-man crew, HIMARS can fire the same missiles as the heavier MLRS M270 launcher, which is in wider use by European countries. It’s lower weight, due in part by only having one launch pod instead of the M260’s two, allows it to be transported by the C130 transport plane. Its purpose on the battlefield is to engage in counterbattery fire to defeat enemy artillery, air defence concentrations, trucks, light armour and personnel carriers, as well as support troops or supply concentrations.