M142 HIMARS

The M142 HIMARS is an Army and Marine Corps rocket artillery system, developed to provide commanders with access to accurate, timely and deadly indirect fire support. The HIMARS uses the same command, control, and communications, as well as the same crew, as the M270 MLRS but carries only one six-pack rocket or missile pod.

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), April 2005
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), April 2005.

Today in WW II: 29 Nov 1944 USS Archer-Fish [SS-311] sinks Japanese aircraft super-carrier Shinano, the largest ship ever sunk by a submarine.  More 
29 Nov 1944 First ship carrying Allied supplies unloads at Port of Antwerp, Belgium, after liberation by First Canadian Army, de-mining and clearing operations.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

HIMARS is more effective and efficient than the 155mm M198 howitzer that it supplements or replaces. While one HIMARS rocket has destructive power equivalent to eight 155mm rounds fired by M198s, the HIMARS only requires a three-man crew to operate vs. a nine-man crew for the M198.

The 17.5-ton wheeled HIMARS is far lighter and deployable than the tracked M270 MLRS. The highly mobile HIMARS can roll onto an Air Force C-130 transport aircraft for rapid delivery to the battlefield where HIMARS can be set up, ready to fire, in 15 minutes. The HIMARS launcher has "hot panel" capability so the launcher’s global-positioning system (GPS) can link into the transporting aircraft’s GPS antenna via a cable attachment. This allows the launcher to remain fully GPS-aided while in flight and, therefore, fire-mission capable immediately upon landing.

HIMARS prototype units were delivered for testing by 3d Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment (3-27 FA) in 1998-1999. After further development, the HIMARS initial operational test (IOT) was conducted at Fort Sill, OK, and White Sands Missile Range, NM, from 20 September to 12 November 2004. The HIMARS system completed the test and developmental phase, and in June 2005 entered active service with the 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NC, when 3-27 FA finished transitioning from MLRS to be the first HIMARS battalion in the United States Army. By late 2007, the Army had four HIMARS battalions with plans for 13 more.

HIMARS Munitions are developed in common with MLRS. Compliance with the Joint Technical Architecture (JTA) supports HIMARS and M270A1 MLRS Launcher programs, and is required by both Department of the Army and Office of the Secretary of Defense. HIMARS is therefore capable of firing all the MLRS family of munitions in pods of six. Another option is to fire a single Army Tactical Missile (ATACMS) Family of Munitions (AFOM) missile, including precision munitions, to a range of 300km.

More detail on the HIMARS / MLRS munitions is on the M270 and M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Olive-Drab.com page.

Vehicle Components of HIMARS

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), RSV and RST Vehicles
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), RSV and RST Vehicles.

  • XM1140 HIMARS Carrier
  • Re-supply vehicle, with onboard Hiab crane and secure radio communications (RSV)
  • Re-supply trailer (RST)

A HIMARS section consists of a XM1140 HIMARS Carrier-launcher, two RSVs with RSTs. The US Army developed the Launcher, based on a XM1140 5-ton FMTV 6x6 chassis, while the USMC MTVR Program Office developed the RSV based on the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) 7 ton 6x6. The FMTV M1084A1 5 Ton 6x6 may also be used as a Resupply Vehicle (RSV). A standard FMTV M1095 5-ton trailer is used for the RST.

The FMTV chassis vehicle has cab modifications to provide for crew survivability and safety and protect the crew from toxic gases, tube cover impact, and launch area debris penetration during firing activities. A chemical air filtration unit in the cab forces outside air through an M48 filter, causing an over-pressure condition, which also prevents gasses from entering around doors or other small openings. The cab interior has been modified so that the fire control system, communications equipment, and controls and indicators required to operate the HIMARS launcher are adequately housed.

The HIMARS Re-Supply Vehicle (RSV) and Re-Supply Trailer (RST) transports, loads and offloads two HIMARS pods positioned side by side, in support of the HIMARS launcher. The RST/V has maximum capacity of 10,400 pounds (4,717 kilograms). The RSV and RST can also transport bulk supplies and palletized loads up to 27,000 pounds over primary roads.

Manuals for HIMARS include TM 9-1055-1646-13&P.

XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, 3-27 FA prototype HIMARS, Ft. Bragg, NC, April-May 1999
XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, 3-27 FA prototype HIMARS, Ft. Bragg, NC, April-May 1999.

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

Staff Sgt. Chris Starnes unloads a training rocket pod to make way for a live pod while driver Spc. Brady Smith watches from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher hatch, Yakima Training Center, Ft. Lewis, WA, 26 November 2007
Staff Sgt. Chris Starnes unloads a training rocket pod to make way for a live pod while driver Spc. Brady Smith watches from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher hatch, Yakima Training Center, Ft. Lewis, WA, 26 November 2007.

privacy policy