Poland Receives First HIMARS Rocket Launchers to Deploy Near Russian Border

by | May 15, 2023

Poland Receives First HIMARS Rocket Launchers to Deploy Near Russian Border

by | May 15, 2023

blaszczak shows his new himars

Warsaw received its first shipment of US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and announced plans to deploy the launchers near the country’s shared border with Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave.

In March, the Polish Defense Ministry announced these long-range multiple rocket launchers, which have a range of nearly 200 miles, would be placed within 50 miles of the border with Kaliningrad. Russia’s enclave is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, another NATO member.

According to the Associated Press, the HIMARS will be stationed with the 1st Artillery Brigade in Olsztyn. “This weapon will be deployed in the northeastern part of our country… its task will be to deter the aggressor,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told the media at an acquisition ceremony on Monday.

Blaszczak said the war in Ukraine has demonstrated both the “key role” of artillery and the value of the HIMARS themselves, adding Warsaw seeks roughly 500 units. “The US Congress has approved the sale of almost 500 launchers to Poland. These launchers will be brought to Poland as soon as possible,” Blaszczak said.

The Polish government also plans to establish a HIMARS academy, in the city of Torun, for other NATO members that plan on acquiring or already possess the advanced artillery systems.

Per a 2019 contract, Poland has spent $414 million to purchase 20 HIMARS, including two training launchers, with ammo, other equipment, as well as logistics and training. This shipment represents the first batch out of the 4-year old deal. Warsaw is currently spending billions on weapons, including on American fighter jets to replace the Soviet-era MIG-29s Poland has transferred to Ukraine.

In a major escalation with Moscow, Poland was the first NATO state to make the pledge to send its fighter jets to Ukraine, Blaszczak confirmed last week that Warsaw had provided Kiev with more than a dozen of the Soviet-era warplanes.

Poland also recently received deliveries of howitzers and other tanks from South Korea, as well as the first deliveries of American Abrams tanks.

About Connor Freeman

Connor Freeman is the assistant editor and a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He is a co-host on Conflicts of Interest. His writing has been featured in media outlets such as Antiwar.com and Counterpunch, as well as the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He has also appeared on Liberty Weekly, Around the Empire, and Parallax Views. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96

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