Finland Acquires Munitions For HIMARS Rockets Launchers

Finland’s Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen approved a proposal to procure ammunition for a heavy rocket launcher system from the United States.

The Ministerial Finance Committee supported the procurement in its session on 10 February 2022.

This procurement will provide the Defense Forces with Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warheads (ER GMLRS AW) for area targets and Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary (ER GMLRS UNITARY) ammunition for point target effect, Finland’s MoD said in a release.

The procurement is based on the guidelines of the Government’s Defense Policy Report and the long-term development plans of the Defense Forces. The assignment to procure munitions was given in 2018. The procurement will ensure that the artillery’s capabilities are maintained and developed to correspond to the general level of development.

The new munitions will improve the performance of heavy rocket launchers and extend their range. The effectiveness of the ER GMLRS AW and UNITARY munitions corresponds to the GMLRS AW and UNITARY procured by the Defense Forces in 2016. The procurement is part of a plan to ensure the usability and performance of heavy rocket launchers into the 2050’s.

The new guided rockets will enable the more efficient use of heavy rocket launchers purchased in 2006 and they will diversify the range of munition used by heavy rocket launchers. The use of guided rockets will be possible due to an upgrade done in 2012–2015 on the fire control system.

The area target AW rockets spread preformed tungsten fragments when they explode above the target while the effect of the point target UNITARY rockets is based on explosions and blast effects. The range of both munitions is some 150km.The procurement’s overall value is about €70 million and the funding is included in the defense spending. The ammunition manufacturer in the United States is Lockheed Martin. Procurement deliveries are estimated to start in 2025.

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