Monday, July 15, 2024

Production of Baltics ATACMS underway following previous HIMARS deals with US

ATACMS Long-Range Missile Contract Awarded to Lockheed Martin by US DoD

The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as Poland and Morocco, are set to benefit from a US Department of Defense (DoD) contract for Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) long-range missile capabilities.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $226.8 million contract for ATACMS missile and launching assembly procurement, with work to be performed through December 2028 under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement. This contract will provide these countries with advanced missile capabilities to enhance their defense systems.

While none of the mentioned countries currently operate the necessary vehicles for delivering the ATACMS munition, they have all shown interest in acquiring them. For example, Latvia requested to purchase HIMARS platforms and associated ATACMS missile payloads, while Lithuania and Estonia have also made agreements for the acquisition of launchers.

Controversy surrounds the use of ATACMS munitions, as the US initially hesitated in providing them to Ukraine to avoid escalating tensions with Russia. However, the range and accuracy of the ATACMS missile have made it a valuable asset, with Ukrainian forces successfully using it for long-range strikes into Russian territory.

The ATACMS is described as a long-range, guided missile with improved GPS guidance and a maximum range of 300km. It is compatible with the MLRS family of launchers and is designed to carry a 500lb blast fragmentation warhead.

This contract signifies a significant advancement in military capabilities for the Baltic countries and Morocco, providing them with the tools they need to enhance their defense systems and address security challenges in the region.

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