June 21. 2024. 6:02

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Polish-US relations flying high after HIMARS systems sale

US Congress greenlighted the sale of almost 500 HIMARS artillery rocket systems to Poland, said Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak on Thursday.

The M142 HIMARS is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the US Army that can attack targets from a distance of 300 kilometres. In the past, HIMARS systems were used in the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Most recently, the Ukrainian forces are using them in the war against Russia.

“It is the final stage of the decision process. So-called silence procedure has concluded: as nobody in the Congress raised objections, the transaction may get finalised,” Witold Waszczykowski, MEP, former foreign minister and member of Law and Justice (PiS, ECR) told EURACTIV.pl.

For military reasons, the HIMARS launchers proved highly effective and useful in the war in Ukraine. Their efficiency often makes them a game changer on the battlefield, said Waszczykowski.

The purchase of the HIMARS system is an element of strengthening the cooperation between Warsaw and Washington, bringing it to the highest level and enhancing Poland’s position in Europe; therefore, it is a highly beneficial transaction for Poland from both military and political points of view, he insisted.

The Defence Ministry said the army would use the HIMARS systems in case of the need to target selected, important targets, like crucial military objects, elements of logistics, or ground-based artillery.

(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)