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Over 30 Direct Hits: What Are the Next Goals for HIMARS, How Much It Costs, and Will It Be Profitable

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HIMARS strikes / Illustrative photo from open sources
HIMARS strikes / Illustrative photo from open sources

HIMARS is often said to be a too expensive system to hit non-strategic targets. Defense Express explains how things really are

Thanks to already eight units high-precision HIMARS missile systems, the Armed Forces of Ukraine methodically and absolutely pragmatically take out the near rear of the russian army.

A map of these strikes has already appeared on the Internet, where the targets with ammunition and fuel storage bases, transport hubs, as well as control points, i.e. strategically important objects had been hit.

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Over 30 Direct Hits: What Are the Next Goals for HIMARS, How Much It Costs, and Will It Be Profitable, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Credits: @ukraine_map

In particular, 11 new strikes were recorded in the last day in the Donetsk direction alone, although some of them, most likely, do not belong to the consequences of HIMARS launches. In particular, conventional artillery reaches the objects in Donetsk, but the distance to Mariupol is at the limit of the capabilities of the American missile system.

Over 30 Direct Hits: What Are the Next Goals for HIMARS, How Much It Costs, and Will It Be Profitable, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Credits: @ukraine_map

And each of these strikes leads to the destruction of the object with a high degree of probability. Behind this lies not only the capability of GMLRS itself, but also the titanic work of Ukrainian intelligence. This is quite often forgotten and unfairly overlooked.

Sooner or later, the russians will begin deploying ammunition and fuel depots outside the HIMARS range. Defense Express has already described in a detailed article what catastrophic consequences this will lead to for the russian army.

But this does not mean that HIMARS and M270 will remain idle. On the contrary, communication points, enemy EW stations, anti-aircraft missile complexes, counter-battery radars and UAV control points will be quite logical targets. The coordinates of these objects are determined by means of radio-technical intelligence, which are currently in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Over 30 Direct Hits: What Are the Next Goals for HIMARS, How Much It Costs, and Will It Be Profitable, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
One of the tactics for destroying UAVs is to hit the control point / Illustrative photo from open sources

Damage to the communication points disrupts the control of troops from the headquarters of the russian army units, which are probably now being transferred to a greater depth in the rear.

Destruction of EW and air defense systems will allow not only UAV operators to "breathe" much easier, but also manned aviation and more actively use Bayraktar TB2 as an attack drone.

Sometimes it is possible to hear that GMLRS missiles are too expensive. According to available information, the cost of one M31A2 missile is approximately 105-125 thousand dollars. On the one hand, it is allegedly huge money, especially considering that a one-time volley of 12 HIMARS with 72 missiles costs 9 million dollars.

Over 30 Direct Hits: What Are the Next Goals for HIMARS, How Much It Costs, and Will It Be Profitable, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Half a million dollars in the air / Illustrative photo from open sources

But let’s compare. For example, one Javelin anti-tank missile costs about 80,000 dollars. And it isn’t surprising, as this ATGM destroys a tank worth several million dollars. The GMLRS missile costs as much as the Excalibur high-precision projectile, which is about 120 thousand dollars per unit.

At the same time, as in the case of the Javelin, GMLRS missiles from the "first shot" destroy targets of much higher cost. Therefore, even if you just take the purely economic component, high-precision weapons are much more profitable than ordinary ones.

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