Lockheed Martin is planning to ramp up production of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) by over 50 percent annually, Politico revealed, citing CEO Jim Taiclet.
Taiclet told investors during a third-quarter earnings report Tuesday that the company plans to manufacture 96 HIMARS annually from 60 currently, the outlet wrote.
The increased production is expected to fulfill heightened demand from European nations following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Rise in Demand
Estonia, Latvia, and Poland have ordered the rocket artillery — along with Ukraine, which has been demanding additional HIMARS over the 20 that have been committed to it by the US.
Poland revised its original order of 500 HIMARS after learning that the delivery would take years and substituted it with 300 South Korean Chunmoo multiple-rocket launchers.
“We decided to split the HIMARS order into stages,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak was quoted as saying by local media.
“We will have both the HIMARS and the Chunmoo.”
Demand for the platform is expected to continue to rise due to the positive reviews it has received during the war in Ukraine.
The system has been credited with destroying many Russian targets, including bridges and ammunition depots, with precise strikes, enabling the Ukrainians to reclaim large swathes of territory in the Donbas and around Kherson.
US Army Plans 500 Platforms in Five Years
Lockheed already invested $65 million six months ago to increase the rate of production, anticipating the demand, according to Politico. The company is also mulling expanding its facility in Camden, Arkansas, to fulfill production needs.
Meanwhile, the US Army has issued a request for information to potential vendors to deliver up to 500 HIMARS in five years.
The delivery is expected to nearly double the world’s supply of the platform.