U.S. business ramps up HIMARS manufacturing as the war in Ukraine gets worse

Date:

U.S. business ramps up HIMARS manufacturing as the war in Ukraine gets worse

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Taiclet announced on Tuesday that HIMARS production would be increased just hours after POLITICO reported that Lockheed Martin had begun promising foreign clients that it was getting ready to ramp up its production, at least in part easing the concerns of the Estonian, Polish, and Ukrainian governments, which had just placed orders for dozens of launchers.

  • As demand keeps rising, Lockheed Martin is also considering expanding its Camden, Arkansas, facility, he noted.

  • Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Baszczak told local media this week that Poland decided to purchase 300 Chunmoo rocket launchers from South Korea’s Hanwha that will be delivered in 2023 after finding that the 500 HIMARS it was seeking would not begin to arrive for years.

  • Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur told POLITICO that Lockheed Martin “confirmed that there is a spot for Estonia” on the production line.

  • Additionally, Lockheed is under pressure from the US Army to boost production even more.

Before beginning its swift offensives in the east in September, Ukraine spent most of a month using accurate bombs to target bridges and ammo dumps, creating doubt among Russian forces and disrupting their logistics and resupply. Twitter users even created “HIMARS O’Clock” memes to commemorate the time in Ukraine when strikes frequently occur in the early evening, displaying footage of munitions dumps burning and cooking off rockets and ammunition late into the night.

Taiclet announced on Tuesday that HIMARS production would be increased just hours after POLITICO reported that Lockheed Martin had begun promising foreign clients that it was getting ready to ramp up its production, at least in part easing the concerns of the Estonian, Polish, and Ukrainian governments, which had just placed orders for dozens of launchers.

According to Taiclet, the business committed $65 million roughly six months ago in anticipation of the requests to hasten the manufacturing process for HIMARS before securing a Pentagon contract.

As demand keeps rising, Lockheed Martin is also considering expanding its Camden, Arkansas, facility, he noted.

“We’re cross-training our professional workforce across a lot of product lines,” said Taiclet, “so that individuals can move between constructing different sorts of weapons (when) demand develops for HIMARS or the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System.”

However, the company won’t be able to boost production from five to eight systems per month for several months, which could not be quick enough for Estonia, Poland, and Ukraine to fortify their forces in the face of Russian aggression.

Building additional industrial capacity is not like turning on a switch, and it takes time for supply chains to set up to fulfil new objectives, such as employing and educating new personnel. Some nations have started exploring rocket launchers abroad due to that schedule.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Baszczak told local media this week that Poland decided to purchase 300 Chunmoo rocket launchers from South Korea’s Hanwha that will be delivered in 2023 after finding that the 500 HIMARS it was seeking would not begin to arrive for years.

He explained, “We chose to divide the HIMARS sequence into stages. Both the HIMARS and the Chunmoo will be available.

Other nations have placed large bets on HIMARS. Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur told POLITICO that Lockheed Martin “confirmed that there is a spot for Estonia” on the production line. In July, Estonia placed a $500 million purchase for six systems.

Additionally, Lockheed is under pressure from the US Army to boost production even more. The branch is aiming for a “doubling or more than doubling” of production rates, according to Service Acquisition Chief Douglas Bush, who told reporters last month but added that it would take time to get there. Therefore, Lockheed might be asked to raise HIMARS launcher production to 120 units annually.

“There are sometimes physical restrictions,” Bush said. “You can fill a factory, get it to a certain production rate, and then if you want to go higher, you’re building another factory, or you’re finding another firm to do the same thing somewhere else, which is also not overnight.” So, to attempt to get these improved production rates ultimately materialised, I’d say that these targets are more in the range of several months to a year.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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