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.