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HIMARS brings faster fires.

EARLY-entry forces are a step closer to quicker delivery of field artillery fire to the battle-held, thanks to capabilities of a new rocket launcher--the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

In a recent evaluation of HIMARS, the system was loaded on a C-130 transport at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and flown to Fort Sill, Okla., 650 nautical miles away. "The aircraft landed on a dirt airstrip that replicated s 'worst-case-scenario' landing strip," said COL James Heverin, Training and Doctrine Command's system manager for rocket and missile systems.

A three-man crew offloaded the system, which was mounted on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles truck, inflated its tires, attached antennas, established radio communication and activated the fire-control panel. Less than 15 minutes after the C-130 touched the ground, HIMARS received a fire mission and proceded to fire a volley of six practice rounds.

The timed events were part of a joint-service effort to deliver "early-entry and light-forces" protection and firepower to troops on the ground, Heverin said.

HIMARS carries six rockets or one missile and can fire the entire family of Multiple Launch Rocket System munitions.

Soldiers from XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., will be the first to receive HIMARS, in March 2005, said LTCL Darryl Calvin, product manager for field artillery launchers.

The Army will purchase neatly 900 launchers, enough for 45 field artillery battalions, Weighing less than its M-270 launcher counterpart, the newly developed HIMARS is in line with the Army's vision of a lighter, more lethal force, Heverin said.
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Title Annotation:Tech notes: what's new in equipment and technology; High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
Author:Baker, Fred W., III
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2004
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