HIMARS means Army will grow by one new artillery regiment

For the first time in its history, the Army will have the ability to accurately hit surface targets hundreds of kilometres away with guided missiles.

CAPTION: An American HIMARS in action. Story by Private Nicholas Marquis.

The high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) will be acquired as the first land-based, surface-to-surface missile system, which will be a component of Defence’s future long-range strike capability.

The American-designed Lockheed Martin system has a range of 300km, with plans to make munitions capable of even longer distances.

HIMARS live fire at Shoalwater Bay

Major Stephen Bowles from Fires Modernisation-Army said HIMARS could eventually be a primary, combined-arms weapon.

“They’re impressive, they’re battle-tested. We can see them being used in Ukraine and they are constantly being exercised in the Indo-Pacific,” Major Bowles said.

Seeing them live-fire during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 at Shoalwater Bay, Major Bowles said Australia had big enough training areas to support firing the long-range ammunition.

“It looked lethal, looked impressive and was just a rapid insertion,” he said.

“Shoot and move. It was something that I’d never seen before, beyond any sort of live-fire engagement I’ve ever seen in Defence.”

The artillery contains a launcher module with either six guided rockets or a single tactical missile, with the six-wheel-based chassis having all-terrain manoeuvrability.

“It’s survivable because you can shoot and move far quicker and use all existing roads,” Major Bowles said.

“It’s lighter as well. We can get it on to LHDs [landing helicopter docks] and especially C-130s and C-17 aircraft for transporting.

“What we’re looking at is a truck that carries an integrated launcher-module system.

“So for operators, any of the issues they will come across will most likely be simple, mechanical ones.”

With the ADF receiving 20 of the wheel-based launchers, the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) will increase its force.

“We do plan to grow the RAA by one battery in phase one of the acquisition,” Major Bowles said.

“In later phases we’re looking to grow to an additional regiment over the next decade.

“It’ll reinvent how Army fights.

“We currently operate by fires supporting manoeuvre.

“After HIMARS, it’ll potentially be manoeuvre supporting fire.”

The initial delivery is due in 2025, with the final operating capability planned for 2029.


HIMARS in action – a Lockheed Martin video







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17 thoughts on “HIMARS means Army will grow by one new artillery regiment

  • 16/02/2023 at 11:10 pm

    Gee .. reading all the comments from some clearly disgruntled ex diggers. Wow. Give it a rest boys. Especially Micheal with the anti American rhetoric. I personally am glad to see the Army being supplied with good quality equipment..our artillery is old and needed replacement long ago.

    • 17/02/2023 at 12:41 pm

      G’day Nick.
      Thanks for the shout-out, nice to be noticed amongst rabble!
      You’ve raised a few points, so lets go through them, hey?
      Yes, ex Diggers. Infantry and Artillery.
      Having been in the Green Machine, we might have some insights into the short comings and failures with-in.
      Like Doctors and Nurses about the Health system, as opposed to dickheads who experience is limited to Band aids and Panadol.

      Yes I’m anti-American, rabidly so and proud of it.
      Mainly due to them forcing our blokes to follow them around the 3rd World killing Rice farmers and Goat herders.
      It’s not good for your Soul, it lowers our reputation down to the Yanks level, and it does nothing for the Defence of Australia.

      ‘Good quality equipment’?
      Good for what? We have no requirement nor Strategy for HIMARS.
      As for quality, it’s old technology, easily countered and over priced.
      You sound like a shill for Lockheed or you have Shares in them. (Shame on you in either case!).
      I reject your argument as nonfactual.

      Thanks for your input, it makes me feel much better about myself AND my arguments.


  • 16/02/2023 at 7:31 pm

    Here we go again, putting money into the US weapons manufacturers’ pockets. First the SSN and now HIMARS. At the Americans’ “suggestion” we are purchasing a system for which we have no established need. It is there so let’s buy it and work out what to do with it later.
    What are the scenarios they are feverishly working out in Canberra? When the Chinese invade Australia and land in Townsville we can engage them from Mackay?
    The rule should be that equipment follows strategy, not the other way round.
    What an outright joke.

  • 16/02/2023 at 11:19 am

    HIMARS, Tanks, AFV, more Infantry Battalions, SSN, or conscripted STEM Students, are really not going to make much difference in a country the size of Australia – we need to conscript the battle hardened, and divisive ABC journos if we are going to make a real difference in this country!! LoL

  • 16/02/2023 at 10:30 am

    It didn’t take long for commenters to get off-topic with irrelevant and incoherent topics ranging from universal conscription and a massive standing Army to ‘frikkin laser beams’ and pummeling the unemployed.

    Never let reality stand in the way of personal axes!

    A Million (conscripted) S.T.E.M. students would be a much better option than an additional 970 000 diggers scratching their arses and training, training, training for nothing, AND would actually be of some use to the Country!

    There’s also absolutely no need for ‘frikkin laser beams’ to destroy HIMARS rockets.
    The Russians have already shown their old fashioned, old tech, simple ballistic trajectory is easily calculated and countered with existing technology to great effect.

    The core argument against this Weapon system is its complete inappropriateness to the A.D.F.’s needs.

    Exactly the same as our Leopard 2’s and Abrams Tanks, they will rust away, never having fired a shot in anger, because we don’t have a use, need or requirement for them.

    It’s a continuing embarrassment to hear senior A.D.F. personnel parroting U.S. manufacturers sales spiels for over priced, irrelevant, old technology, and clearly demonstrates the U.S. is driving the A.D.F., its mission and equipment.


  • 16/02/2023 at 9:22 am

    Being an Ex Nasho I think ALL male & females & in-betweens should do some kind of an alistment . It wouldn’t hurt anyone at all ..

  • 16/02/2023 at 9:09 am

    They are obsolete right now , they can be shot down , by the time we get them in Australia every one else will have laser or direct energy systems that will make those a danger to use

  • 16/02/2023 at 2:26 am

    We need a million people in the Army – three-year mandatory service straight out of school. Afterwhich If they don’t like service they can resign but only if they have either an apprentichip, immediate employment, or a tafe or university. The dole disappears 170 billion saved, should pay for the Mandetory 3-yr service. Make the education if they stickout a decade

  • 15/02/2023 at 10:19 pm

    So WHERE are we expecting to deploy these things?

    Are we expecting a landing on Continental Australia?
    Pigs will fly first!

    It will all be over, and the R.A.N./R.A.A.F. will cease to exist 500K’s before they get there.

    This is nothing more than PROTECTION MONEY to our Yank Over Lords and their Lockheed and Raytheon Patrons.

    This is a bloody shameful and completely inappropriate waste of our money, and proof the Yanks RUN the A.D.F. and our Defence and Strategic Policies.

    Australia will never be safe or in control of it’s own destiny, until we grow some balls and become Strategically and Politically independent, and Neutral.


    • 16/02/2023 at 10:55 am

      Give it a rest Michael, (if that is your name).
      It’s obvious your writings are based on a personal opinion or you write for a foreign power. Never the less actually read some history of countries or civilisations which did not ‘prepare for war’. That’s right most don’t exist anymore. You obviously have a passion, direct that passion to open minded research and get back to us.

      • 16/02/2023 at 11:37 am

        Cheers Stephen.

        If I ever require an example of a ‘ad hominum’ argument I know where to go now.

        Please attack the message, not the messenger.
        You’re contributing nothing.

        DUTY FIRST.

    • 16/02/2023 at 7:51 pm

      Nuetrality saved the Swiss in WW2 but did not help other neutral countries like Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and etc. You can only be nuetral IF your enemy lets you. Or if your military is so strong that your enemy knows they cannot win.

      • 17/02/2023 at 12:02 pm

        G’day Ol’ Fella.
        Thanks for the opportunity to educate you about Neutrality.
        You hit the nail on the head about Switzerland and we’ll get back to that, but we’ll discuss the other Nations you mentioned first.

        Poland. Never a good candidate for Neutrality in way, shape or form.
        Bordered between Germany AND the U.S.S.R., both who had long existing territorial claims, lots of past bad blood and large groups of ethnic peoples located there.
        They were pissing into the wind with that stance, as history showed.

        Denmark. Another forlorn hope for Neutrality.
        Bordering Germany, an expansionist power, with a large ethnic German population, natural resources, and a candidate for possible occupation by the Brits, (a la Norway), another ridiculous attempt for Neutrality.

        The Nederlands. See Denmark.

        Belgium. Pissing into a Cyclone!
        Bordering Germany and the traditional route for German invasion of France for thousands of years, who were they kidding?
        Belgians are great merchants and killers of Africans, but as 1st World Soldiers? Piss weak surrender monkeys!
        Another ridiculous example of surrender wrapped up as Neutrality.

        Which brings us to Switzerland.
        Switzerland is mountainous Country with only a few but well defended entry points.
        Trying to get into that hedgehog would be expensive and time consuming, you’d want to be keen, powerful and patient to crack that nut.
        That’s why Swiss Neutrality works, it’s actually a good fit.

        Which brings us to Australia.
        What does Australia have in common with the Gnomes?

        Australia is a natural fit for Neutrality due to our unique Geography.
        Thousands of Kilometres of The Indian Ocean to our West.
        Thousands of Kilometres of The Pacific Ocean to our East.
        Thousands of Kilometres of The Southern Ocean to our South.
        An Archipelago of thousands of Islands to our North with a limited number of choke points.

        No bastard can get here without telegraphing their intentions for weeks ahead, and we’ll know where to meet them.
        A suitable and cost effective A2/AD strategy (a la the Chinese model) means we’re safe as houses, have an A.D.F. actually suited for defending Australia, and we can finally stop following the Yanks around the 3rd World killing Rice farmers and Goat herders.
        We might even avoid having to ”Do a Ukraine” when the Yanks take on China!

        Australia is a natural fit for Neutrality, it just requires us to grow a pair and Man up.

        I hope that given you something to ruminate on in your twilight years ol’ fella, remember you’re never too old to learn!

        DUTY FIRST.

        • 26/02/2023 at 12:28 pm

          Switzerland was neutral because the NAZIs needed somewhere to store
          all the gold they had stollen from the rest or Europe.
          Also Switzerland supplied Germany with medical teams during the invasion or pf Russia
          Until the Swiss discovered the atrocities being committed on the Eastern front by
          Germany forces. If Hitler had reason to invade Switzerland he would have.
          The Germans were well adapt in Alpine/Mountain warfare in the form of their
          Mountain Divisions AKA Gebirgsjäger.

  • 15/02/2023 at 8:58 pm

    How about increasing the infantry battalions and getting more training for the reserves? Infantry still has to go in and close with the enemy regardless of the situation. Re-raise 4RAR with soldiers, my father’s old battlion before they took all the soldiers and created 2 Commando. Bring back those colours and battle honours. Make some original veterans of 4RAR proud.

    • 26/02/2023 at 12:17 pm

      Defence has a 3000 person deficit in numbers. Last year is the first year they couldn’t
      Fill the numbers in the Bn’s of members leaving. We need more Inf Bn’s.
      However how to fix recruitment is a big issue. Conscription is
      One way. That brings a whole lot of other issues.


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