A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was fired from the flight deck of the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage during a recent exercise.

The HIMARS is a weapons system made up of the M142, five-ton chassis vehicle and can carry either a launcher pod of six rockets or one MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

It enables units to engage targets within minutes after firing and features an advanced targeting system that strikes with an extremely high accuracy rate say the US Navy in a press release.

The system also features a greater range than traditional artillery, allowing smaller units to cover a larger area.

The demonstration on Anchorage consisted of HIMARS engaging a land-based target with a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (GMLRS-U).

“We had two training objectives for today’s shoot,” said Army Maj. Adam Ropelewski, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), lead planner for sea-based expeditionary fires. “The first training objective was demonstrating this capability and, second, we wanted to have good effects on the target. We achieved both objectives. We destroyed the target at 70 kilometers while at sea.”

“In an environment where we are operating in contested waters, we are finding a way to be able to support the land force with deeper strike capabilities,” said Capt. AJ Kowaleuski, an artillery officer with I MEF.

This portion of Dawn Blitz validated the commander’s ability to integrate HIMARS with ships to conduct a sea-based strike say the US Navy.

“What we demonstrated not only was its capability, but we further demonstrated capabilities from the blue-green team and Amphibious Force 3,” said Ropelewski. “They performed very well and were able to come together and work hard to make the mission successful.”

The shoot was a success from the operator’s perspective as well. “We shot a rocket off Anchorage to validate that we, as HIMARS operators, can shoot off an LPD and successfully hit the target,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan Irving, a HIMARS operator assigned to 5th Battalion, 11th Marines.

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Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

This is a great idea, a cheap way of providing massive naval gunfire support. We have MLRS still.. I think…. Interesting notion. Only viable if we have not sold off all our ships.

Phil
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Phil

Ummm, if they’re in range of our long range rockets, doesn’t that mean we’re in range of theirs? Given the increasing prevalence and decreasing cost of cheap long-range guided missiles to the extent that everybody can have them. I wonder if we wouldn’t actually be wise to ditch the idea of LPD’s pottering about close to an enemy shore doing a “D-Day” re-run. For the same reason mass paratrooper drops are no longer sensible in the face of ever cheaper and more lethal SAMs? The PW/QE would seem to be planned have the capability to deliver an helicopter/osprey based over-the-horizon… Read more »

Harry bulpit
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Harry bulpit

But a Merlin or even a chinook can’t land a Challanger or BV206.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Don’t worry about the Tanks. We will shortly have 2 Regiments left and they are needed for our armoured Brigades! Bv206 no idea if a Chinook can lift one.
A point ship can carry hundreds though so you don’t put those things in your initial assault, be it by air or landing craft if we are lucky to keep the things.

Secundius
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Secundius

@ Mr. Bell.

Not just MLRS, but ANY Land-Based Weapons System on ANY Ship Class including a Supply Ship…

Harry Nelson
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Harry Nelson

I’m sure I read an article that stated Egypt was using some truck mounted SAM system on it’s Mistral Class. Indeed, thinking outside the box??

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Yeah but come on! The 5th biggest defence budget worldwide should mean the rn avoids that sort of thing! But maybe not….

Steve
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Steve

This is the US Navy doing it, and they are the 1st biggest, so why not have the RN try creative ways of providing defence on the cheap.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

The LPDs are needed to deliver real force into a combat theatre. a Chinook or osprey could deliver infantry and light artillery to secure a landing zone but you need LCUs and thus a LPD to deliver tanks and warrior ifvs to a combat zone. a mlrs system could utterly obliterate any landing beach to clear a path for airborne assault first then LCUs with 2nd/3rd wave assault troops. just so long as we have not sold this very expensive capability cheaply to Brazil to save £10-20 million a year off our so called 2nd largest defence budget in NATO.… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
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Geoffrey Roach

The problem is that there is no RN battle group in the North Atlantic, nor do we have any LPD’s available in the area and haven’t had on a regular basis for over thirty years.
What we do have is the ability to reinforce Norway with Royal Marine commando’s along with their equipment, some of which is already there, but this is carried out by air and by supply ships.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Agree. One point Geoff, do the RM have pre positioned kit in Norway??
I know 45 Cdo train for arctic warfare but didn’t know they had stuff there permanently.

Geoffrey Roach
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Geoffrey Roach

I’m pretty sure that I read that some of the heavy duty kit like tractor units and the like are stored but to be honest I couldn’t say for certain.