Twenty HIMARS kits ordered by Poland will be delivered next year, Rita Flaherty, vice president of strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) announced.
In an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP), the vice president of the company said that Lockheed Martin could offer Poland around 200 kits in response to a Ministry of Defence request for proposals. She also declared her readiness to cooperate with the Polish industry.
“I think that with increased production we can meet the agreed deadline and deliver the HIMARS ordered by Poland in 2023,” she said.
We’ve already met with our #HIMARS supply chain to plan for⬆️ production to 96/year. We advanced funded ahead of contract $65MM to shorten the lead time. That was without a contract or..even memo from the government. We just went ahead and did that.. ~ Jim Taiclet Lockheed Martin pic.twitter.com/P4JVKNr2tk
— Air Power (@MIL_STD) October 18, 2022
Poland arms itself
In 2019 Poland purchased 20 long-range multi-barrel rocket launchers – 18 designed for combat and two for military drills – and associated equipment. The introduction of this category of armament was enshrined in the Homar modernisation programme. Initially, it was assumed that the system would be developed by indigenous factories and later that it would be a licence production.
In May 2022, Poland’s Defence Ministry asked the U.S. to prepare an offer for approximately 500 sets (the U.S. military had 410 of these systems at its disposal before transferring a dozen sets to Ukraine). Given the needs of the U.S. and other interested countries and the time required for such an order, Poland ordered 218 Chunmoo launchers from South Korea.
Rita Flaherty pointed out certain differences between HIMARS and Chunmoo launchers, stressing that certain types of rockets can only be launched from HIMARS and that there is a software disparity.
She went on to say that the company is also ready to cooperate with Polish industry in connection with the purchase of Javelin anti-tank missiles, jointly produced by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, on systems such as the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and on PAC-3 MSE missiles, selected in the first phase of the Vistula programme as armament for Patriot kits.
Despite early rise this week started with enthusiasm. After flying to Warsaw I spent today engaging with media discussing @LockheedMartin’s maturing partnerships with Polish industry and economy. DYK LM sustains >5,500 Polish jobs and is the biggest defence exporter (PZL Mielec)? pic.twitter.com/JjgGwctveB
— John Neilson (@flyingjok) November 15, 2022
Flaherty assured that it is not only about transferring the production of elements of already ordered equipment to Poland, but the company is ready to cooperate with the Ministry of Defence and Polish plants on new projects.