WASHINGTON ― The U.S. State Department has approved Poland to buy advanced rockets and rocket launchers worth $10 billion, marking the latest such order from Eastern European allies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The proposed order covers 18 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, launchers and 468 launcher-loader module kits. Also include are 45 M57 Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, and hundreds of guided multiple launch rocket and warheads variants, according to an announcement Tuesday.
The Lockheed Martin-made weapons have made headlines in recent months as Ukraine has put the U.S.-supplied rockets to use against Russian forces. Since the first systems arrived in June, they have been credited as helping Ukrainian forces recapture territory around Kherson.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement reads.
The sale “will improve Poland’s military goals of updating capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies,” it adds. “Poland intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.”
The proposed sale includes 532 XM403 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Extended Range Alternative Warheads ― and 461 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead GMLRS-AW pods and 521 M31A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary weapons, each with the Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System.
While Congress has the authority to block the sale, it’s expected to pass smoothly through Capitol Hill.
Warsaw in May announced it was seeking 500 HIMARS launchers for more than 80 batteries. Those systems would be produced by Poland-based factories, and Warsaw aims to ensure the weapons’ integration with the Polish battlefield management system.
Poland has sought to purchase HIMARS since before Russia invaded Ukraine, as Warsaw undertakes a military-wide transition to modern Western equipment. It’s split some important buys between the U.S. and South Korea, including 288 K239 Chunmoo multiple-rocket launchers and K-2 tanks.
Lithuania, after Latvia and Estonia, became the latest Baltic nation to ink a deal with the U.S. for HIMARS. It announced in December it had agreed to buy HIMARS and ATACMS worth $495 million.
With reporting by Jaroslaw Adamowski.
Joe Gould was the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He had previously served as Congress reporter.