The US State Department greenlit a nearly $500 million sale of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Lithuania. Washington has transferred dozens of the systems to Kiev, which has used them to carry out attacks inside territory claimed by Moscow.
A press release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) stated that Vilnius requested eight launchers, ammunition and other equipment for the HIMARS, also claiming the sale would support Washington’s foreign policy objectives.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of a NATO Ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress within Eastern Europe,” the agency said.
As of November 4, the White House had sent or authorized the shipment of 38 HIMARS launchers and thousands of rounds to Ukraine. The HIMARS is the longest-range weapon the US has transferred to Kiev so far, though Washington has limited its transfers to munitions with a range of 50 miles.
Russia claims the Lockheed Martin-made artillery systems have been used to attack the Kherson Dam in recent days, located in formerly Ukrainian territory annexed by Moscow in September.
Unlike Ukraine, Lithuania is a NATO member. It’s unclear when Vilnius will receive its HIMARS, as American stockpiles of munitions for the long-range artillery systems are dwindling despite Washington’s continued pledges to provide more rockets for Kiev’s war effort.