The US DSCA approves the sale of HIMARS missile systems to Latvia, equipped with ATACMS and GMLRS missiles, thus strengthening the Baltic defense.
The DSCA has recently authorized the sale to Latvia of HIMARS systems, which will be equipped with ATACMS missiles with a range of 300 km and GMLRS with a range of 84 km. The agreement includes six HIMARS systems, along with 12 GMLRS “packages” and 10 units of M57 ATACMS missiles, all with powerful explosive warheads. Although the contract cost could reach $220 million, a downward negotiation is possible.
Although it may seem limited with its six facilities, this defense package is significant for Latvia’s armed forces, composed of approximately 6,600 members. With this acquisition, Latvia joins its Baltic neighbors in adopting the use of HIMARS systems.
It is recalled that on October 9, 2022, Lithuania secured its defense with the authorization to acquire eight HIMARS, 72 GMLRS “packages,” 72 ER GMLRS “packages” and 18 ATACMS, with a budget of up to $495 million. Similarly, Estonia received the green light on July 15, 2022, to purchase six HIMARS and various missiles in a deal that could cost up to $500 million.
With the ATACMS having a range of 300 km, the armies of these nations now have the technical capability to hit strategic targets on Russian territory, such as bases in Kaliningrad, Pskov, Novgorod, and Saint Petersburg, as well as extensive areas within Belarus.
In the regional context, the Baltic countries are actively considering expanding their armed forces. For example, Lithuania plans to establish a mechanized division within a 9,000-strong ground force.
Speaking specifically about the M57 ATACMS, known as the Army Tactical Missile System, it stands out for its superior operational capability and advanced technical specifications. This surface-to-surface missile is crucial to the US military’s long-range strike capability, neutralizing valuable enemy targets and critical structures.
The advantage of the M57 ATACMS lies in its extended range, capable of hitting targets up to 300 km away, surpassing conventional artillery. This capability projects significant power, providing flexibility to military operations.
Equipped with advanced guidance technology, the M57 ATACMS ensures accuracy, using INS and GPS for precise navigation. This feature is vital to achieve your goals, even at great distances.
Regarding its specifications, it measures around 6.4 meters, with a diameter of 0.61 meters and an approximate weight of 1,444 kilograms. Its propulsion is due to a solid fuel rocket motor, allowing it to reach speeds of up to Mach 3. In addition, it carries a highly destructive warhead to maximize impact.
The M57 ATACMS is launched from a mobile launcher, providing a flexible operational advantage. This platform can be quickly relocated, optimizing response capacity and adaptability in combat situations, making this missile system an essential component in contemporary conflicts.