Artillery: HIMARS and Russian Propaganda


April 3, 2024: HIMARS is a truck-mounted missile launcher that can carry and launch six 227mm GMLRS missiles. The truck-like mounted units fire these 200 kg 227mm GPS/INS guided missiles with a maximum range of 80 kilometers. Ukraine has received 39 HIMARS vehicles so far but two were sent back to the United States for repairs and one was destroyed in March 2024. That leaves Ukraine with 36 operational HIMARS vehicles and as many missiles as they can get. Ukraine has already used over 12,000 missiles. Annual production is about a thousand missiles but over 60,000 have been produced so far with most still available. Ukraine has, by far, been the major user of the GMLRS (guided multiple launch rocket system) missiles. Each GLMRS costs $170,000 and Ukraine cannot get enough of them.

Russia has claimed destruction of many HIMARS vehicles, but Ukraine can still account for all the HIMARS vehicles they have received. Ukraine also revealed that they had been placing decoy HIMARS mockups in various locations for the Russian to detect and attack instead of the actual HIMARS vehicles, which are mobile and effectively hidden in forests or even large enough buildings to drive a HIMARS into. Ukrainian HIMARS crews know they are targets for Russian attacks and pay attention to keeping their vehicle concealed and on the move. The only time the HIMARS vehicle is stationary in the open is when it is about to fire a missile. After firing one or more missiles, the vehicle moves and seeks to avoid being spotted by Russian UAVs that are always on the lookout for HIMARS and able to call in more UAVs, including armed ones, to track down the HIMARS vehicles and destroy them. The Russians succeeded a few times and destroyed one HIMARS and damaged two others.

Currently GLMRS guided missiles launched from HIMARS vehicles have been a major problem for any Russian troops or military facilities within range, about 80 kilometers, of a HIMARS vehicle. Ukrainian HIMARS vehicles have fired thousands of GLMRS missiles at the Russians and the Russians see HIMARS as a major problem and cause of significant losses, including facilities, combat vehicles and troops.




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