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Rheinmetall and Lockheed Martin to offer GMARS for the European market

By Defence Industry Europe

Lockheed Martin and Rheinmetall, a leading German defence company, announced their partnership to provide GMARS launchers to the European market. The agreement was signed in April of this year.

GMARS (“G” for “Germany”) will differ from the American M142 HIMARS launchers.

The new GMARS system will inherit the launcher assembly, reload system, and other components from the GMLRS/ATACMS combat part, similar to the M142 HIMARS launcher with 80% interchangeability of parts. Rheinmetall will deliver the new chassis, most likely utilizing one of the trucks from Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. However, the chassis will need to be larger than that of the HIMARS due to the European version offering two packages of transport and launch containers, similar to the M270 tracked launcher or the South Korean K239 system. Consequently, it will likely feature an 8×8 chassis from the HX3 line. Integration work will take place in Germany.

 

Lockheed Martin and Rheinmetall, a leading German defence company, announced their partnership to provide GMARS launchers to the European market. The agreement was signed in April of this year.
Image: Lockheed Martin.

 

The primary target for Lockheed and Rheinmetall will be the Bundeswehr, intended to replace the old MARS II systems (Mittleres Artillerieraketensystem, a local German variant of the American M270 launcher). GMARS will also be offered to other European armies, as Lockheed Martin and Rheinmetall anticipate an increased demand for new systems of this class following the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has highlighted the importance of rocket artillery.




It is worth noting that Germany has transferred some of its MARS II launchers to Ukraine, while the remainder are old and worn out. It is likely that Berlin aims to replace the launchers transferred to Ukraine first, followed by the modernization of the remaining 34 old systems still in service.

The German defence industry is also interested in producing ammunition for the GMLRS system. Rheinmetall would handle the production of rocket engines, while Diehl Defense would be responsible for warheads and guidance system components, to some extent. Negotiations between the partners are currently ongoing. They have expressed the possibility of delivering the first GMARS launchers for testing as early as 2025 if a contract with the German Federal Ministry of Defence is swiftly signed.

 

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