New NATO rocket launcher vs. Ukraine's HIMARS
    Comparison in firepower

    WORLD  19 June 2024 - 04:08

    Lockheed Martin and Rheinmetall's joint effort has introduced the Global Mobile Artillery Rocket System (GMARS), a cutting-edge missile artillery system aimed at bolstering NATO's military capabilities significantly.

    The GMARS system is intended to complement Ukraine's existing High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which has played a crucial role in Ukraine's defense since it was first deployed following Russia's initial invasion in 2022. The United States has supplied Ukraine with at least 39 HIMARS systems, each capable of launching six rockets that can strike targets up to approximately 50 miles away, effectively targeting Russian troop concentrations, command centers, and logistical hubs, according to Newsweek.

    GMARS represents an advancement from HIMARS, featuring a larger HX 8x8 chassis capable of accommodating two rocket pods, effectively doubling the firepower available per mission. The primary difference between the two systems lies in their launcher configurations.

    GMARS's capability for "shoot and scoot" maneuvers is a critical enhancement, allowing for rapid relocation after firing to avoid enemy countermeasures. This stands in contrast to HIMARS, which features a smaller, single-launcher profile.

    Both systems prioritize mobility, utilizing wheeled platforms for rapid deployment on the battlefield. GMARS further improves operational readiness with an integrated crane that eliminates the need for additional support vehicles.

    In terms of technical specifications, GMARS outperforms HIMARS with an operational range of up to 434.96 miles and a maximum speed of 62.14 miles per hour, compared to HIMARS's range of 186.41 miles and top speed of 52.82 mph. GMARS's boom-and-hoist system enhances rapid emplacement capabilities, facilitating quick and safe reloading.

    Engineered to operate in diverse weather conditions, GMARS promises reliable and precise long-range accuracy, setting it apart from its predecessor. The system's design allows for unrestricted movement on standard roads and rail transport. It operates with minimal crew and offers optional cabin protection, maintaining a compact footprint without requiring outriggers, thus preserving its mobility and "shoot and scoot" advantage.

    GMARS shares similarities with HIMARS in terms of munitions and logistics, ensuring seamless integration with NATO's existing infrastructure. Its compatibility with the MLRS Family of Munitions (MFOM) enhances its range and precision, reinforcing its strategic significance.

    During its presentation at Eurosatory 2024, a prominent European defense and security event, Rheinmetall chairman Armin Papperger mentioned ongoing discussions with potential European customers for GMARS, although specific nations were not disclosed.

    Recently, Germany announced the procurement of three new HIMARS from the U.S. Armed Forces to support Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia. The Pentagon has confirmed the delivery of an additional 40 HIMARS systems and associated ammunition as part of a $400 million aid package.

    Caliber.Az

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