UAE Orders $752M Worth of HIMARS Launchers & Rockets
In September 2006, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the United Arab Emirates official request High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $752 million.
The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control at Dallas, TX (rockets, system, prime contractor) and Stewart & Stevenson at Sealy, TX (truck platform). The UAE requested offsets, to be defined in negotiations. Items requested include both the weapons platform and a variety of rockets and missiles, and parts of the deal have come to fruition since that 2006 announcement.
Contracts and Key Events
This represent all publicly-announced contracts to date that point to the UAE order, and potentially-related events and tests.
Nov 10/11: A $19.1 million firm-fixed-price contract for 129 FMTVs; 11 armor B-Kits; 20 FMTVs; and 20 FMTV “High Mobility Artillery Rocket System B-Kits; with install for United Arab Emirates.” Work will be performed in Oshkosh, WI, with an estimated completion date of June 30/13 (W56HZV-09-D-0159).
The wording above is somewhat unclear, but Oshkosh has now confirmed that the UAE order is just 20 trailers and armoring kits. The Feb 3/09 announcement from BAE suggested that the UAE had already bought its FMTV chassis, and the timing of the UAE’s rocket orders suggested a working capability already.
June 14/11: Lockheed Martin’s Full Rate Production Lot VI order for GMLRS rockets includes weapons for the UAE – but they won’t say how many. Read “GMLRS Rockets: FRP-VI Orders”
Dec 23/10: Lockheed Martin Corp. in Grand Prairie, TX receives a $916.2 million firm-fixed-price contract, with some cost-plus-fixed-fee contract line item numbers. They’ll provide 226 ATACMS missiles; 24 launcher modification kits; ground support equipment; contractor field support; and initial spares in Foreign Military Sales to United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan.
Taiwan doesn’t operate the M270 MLRS or M142 HIMARS, but its Thunderbolt 2000 system mounted on a HEMTT heavy truck does carry rocket pod options that include 2 sets of 6 227mm rockets each.
Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, TX; Lufkin, TX; Ocala, FL; Camden, AR; and Chelmsford, MA, with an estimated completion date of Nov 30/13. One bid was solicited with one bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-11-C-0001).
Nov 3/10: The US DSCA announces [PDF] the United Arab Emirates’ official request to buy up to 100 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) rockets, type unspecified, and 60 Low Cost Reduced-Range Practice Rockets (LCRRPR), plus the usual publications and technical documentation, training, and U.S. government and contractor support. The estimated cost is up to $140 million.
The UAE has asked for ATACMS missiles before, with a request for 202 missiles and 60 practice rockets in September 2006. There was no subsequent announcement of any sale, and this DSCA announcement does not cite the UAE as already having the equipment in inventory.
The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Industries located in Horizon City, TX and Camden, AR. If the notice becomes a contract, implementation will require up to 10 U.S. government or contractor representatives to travel to the United Arab Emirates for a period of up to 1 year for equipment de-processing/fielding, system checkout and training.
July 20/10: Lockheed Martin’s Full Rate Production Lot VI order for GMLRS rockets includes weapons for the UAE: 30 RRPR pods, and 30 download/demate RRPR pods.
May 8/09: Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, TX (near Dallas) receives a $32.4 million firm-fixed-price option under the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) Full Rate Production (FRP) II contract. It includes 44 United Arab Emirates DPICM rocket pods and 44 unitary rocket pods.
DPICM rounds pack the missile with exploding grenades, and are especially effective against masses of troops in lightly armed vehicles. See Sept 21/06 entry for further details.
Work is to be performed in East Camden, AZ (76.8%), Grand Prairie, TX (20.8%), and Orlando, FL (2.4%) with an estimated completion date of Oct 31/11. The U.S. Army’s Aviation & Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL manages this contract (W31P4Q-08-C-0021).
Feb 3/09: BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems LP in Sealy, TX received a $7.3 million firm-fixed-price and cost reimbursement contract for 38 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) chassis for Foreign Military Sales customers. Recent DSCA requests for HIMARS systems have included Singapore (18 in 2007) and the UAE’s 20, so the math adds.
Work is to be performed at Sealy, TX, with an estimated completion date of Aug 31/10. The U.S. Army Tank & Automotive Command in Warren, MI manages this contract (W56HZV-08-C-0460).
July 2/08: The U.S. Army establishes a new distance record for the GPS-guided GMLRS rocket, launching a rocket from an M142 HIMARS vehicle and destroying a target 85 km/ 52.8 miles from the launch site at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The previous maximum effective range for GMLRS was publicly listed as 70 km.
Lockheed Martin’s release says that the U.S. Army’s decision to test the GMLRS out to this range was based on the system’s demonstrated performance during more than 750 successful firings on the battlefield.
May 28/08: Lockheed Martin announces a test of its new Universal Fire Control System (UFCS), by using it to launch its first GPS-guided GMLRS rockets from a HIMARS wheeled vehicle launcher at White Sands Missile Range, NM. Four GMLRS rockets flew a pre-planned trajectory and successfully engaged their targets.
The UFCS is an evolutionary block upgrade of the MLRS Fire Control System that lets it fire GMLRS munitions with anti-jamming technology. The upgrade is also designed to enhance reliability, and mitigate electronics obsolescence problems.
Sept 21/06: DSCA request:
- 20 HIMARS Launchers, mounted on
- 20 M1084A1 Family of Medium Truck Vehicles (FMTV);
- 3 “M108A1 Wreckers”; DID believes they mean the M1089, an FMTV truck variant with towing and winching capability. They can get a HIMARS vehicle out of trouble in case of treacherous sand, mud, an overly close acquaintance with the local roadside ditch, etc.
- 104 M26 MLRS Rocket Pods; the Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) bomblets inside gave the MLRS its nickname of “steel rain” in Iraq. Each 6-rocket pod carries 227mm rockets with a range of about 30 km.
- 130 M30 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) pods, whose rockets add GPS guidance. The DSCA release notes that these will contain DPICM warheads; each rocket can hold 404 of them. See DID article re: the M30/M31 GPS-guided rockets. Each 6-rocket pod carries 227mm rockets with a range of about 60-70 km.
- 130 M31 Unitary High Explosive GMLRS Pods – these have been used in the current Iraq war, where their sudden strike and GPS-guided ability to hit buildings and other hardened structures with their 196 pound single warhead have proven very useful. Each 6-rocket pod carries 227mm rockets with a range of about 60-70 km.
- 101 M39A1 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Block 1A Anti-Personnel-Anti-Material Rocket Pods. These missiles have a 300 km range, and pack 300 M74 submunitions that explode to cover a wide area with fragmentation and armor-piercing bomblets. Each pod carries 1 missile.
- 101 M39A1 ATACMS Block 1A Unitary Rocket Pods; this variant packs a single 500 pound explosive warhead; if you want to take down a building in a few minutes from 150 miles away, this is the weapon you want. Each pod carries 1 missile.
- 60 Multiple Launcher Rocket Systems (MLRS) Practice Rocket Pods.
Implementation of this sale will require the assignment of a U.S. Government Quality Assurance Team of up to 5 contractor representatives to the UAE for two weeks to assist in the delivery and deployment of the HIRMARS and sequential deliveries. There will be a 3-person Technical Assistance Fielding Team in the UAE for training mission support for up to two years. A U.S. Government representative will remain in country for a minimum of two years in order to assist in the security assistance aspects of the mission.