The main components of the first High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to be part of the Romanian Army equipment arrived late last week at the Black Sea port of Constanţa.
Two years ago, Bucharest purchased from the US company Lockheed Martin, for some 1.5 billion US dollars, 3 HIMARS long-range artillery systems. The first one is scheduled to become operational this year.
Each system has 18 launch units. Romania’s order refers to 3 separate types of guided missiles, able to hit ground targets up to 300 km away. The systems include the ammunition, the command and control elements, sensors, logistical support, maintenance, encryption equipment and training programmes for personnel at all levels.
A major component of the artillery system, the multiple rocket launchers will operate independently or jointly with other systems in order to fulfil missions. They may be made available to NATO, as part of Romania’s commitments within the Alliance and of regional initiatives.
The equipment will be tested in the forthcoming period by the 81st “Maior Gheorghe Șonțu” Tactical Missile Battalion in Focșani, the first unit of the Romanian Ground Forces to be using this kind of equipment. The National Defence Ministry said the Ground Forces must be equipped with high-performance support means, providing enhanced capabilities tailored both for classical and unconventional warfare, given the diversity of situations in which the Romanian Army must contribute troops, both on national territory and abroad.
The Ministry also pointed out that the long-range rocket launch system is able to provide support both during participation in military operations, and during the training process.
Last week Parliament was updated by president Klaus Iohannis on the National Defence Ministry and Interior Ministry forces available to take part this year in missions abroad, and on the deployment to Romania, if necessary, of NATO’s very high readiness forces.
This year the Romanian Army will take part in NATO, EU, UN, OSCE missions and operations outside Romania, and in the anti-ISIL/DAESH international coalition, as previously undertaken. (tr. A.M. Popescu)