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Lockheed offers Polish industry a seat at its rocket launcher table

In World
June 11, 2024

WARSAW, Poland — Lockheed Martin is offering Poland’s defense industry an opportunity to participate in the production of guided multiple-launch rocket systems, which neighboring Ukraine has used against Russian invaders.

The offer from the American defense firm comes as Poland considers buying up to 486 launchers and launcher-loader module kits with related gear for its M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, which Lockheed makes.

A Lockheed Martin spokesperson told Defense News during a briefing in Warsaw that the missiles could undergo production at Mesko, a subsidiary of PGZ, the nation’s state-run defense giant. The U.S. company is currently holding talks with Polish officials.

“Under the Homar-A program, we plan to locate production of GMLRS [guided multiple-launch rocket system] ammunition in Poland with the phased introduction of two GMLRS variants initially to meet the needs of the Polish Armed Forces. Initial production, likely to be from kit sets provided from the U.S., could begin in 2026,” the spokesperson said on the condition of anonymity to discuss the negotiations.

In September 2023, then-Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak signed a framework deal to buy up to 486 HIMARS units. The framework agreement came more than seven months after the U.S. State Department approved the Polish bid to acquire advanced rockets and rocket launchers worth about $10 billion.

However, a new centrist government formed in Poland three months later, and since then an executive deal has not been signed.

Under a contract inked in February 2019, Poland bought 20 HIMARS launchers for about $414 million.

In both the unitary and alternative warhead variants of the GMLRS, the weapon’s round carries a 200-pound unitary warhead and is enabled with a range exceeding 70 kilometers (44 miles), according to data from the U.S. manufacturer.

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