The Pentagon has awarded Lockheed Martin with $179 million in contracts to replace High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) that it has sent to Ukraine from its own stockpiles, Defense News reported Wednesday.
The US has delivered Ukraine 16 HIMARS launchers from its stockpiles and pledged to purchase 18 to send to Kyiv in the future. The GMLRS are rockets that Ukraine uses with the HIMARS launchers, which have a range of about 50 miles.
The contracts include $95 million for HIMARS and $84 million for GMLRS. The revelation of the contracts, which were awarded over the past few weeks, came as Lockheed Martin announced it was ramping up production of the weapons systems.
Lockheed executives said they’re working to ramp up production of the HIMARS launchers to 96 per year. The company began 2022 producing HIMARS at a rate of 48 per year.
The US and NATO policy of arming Ukraine has been a total boon for Lockheed Martin and other Western arms makers, including Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Besides cashing in on replenishing stockpiles and selling weapons bound for Ukraine, the defense industry also stands to gain from NATO members’ plans to increase military spending in the wake of Russia’s invasion. NATO also has a 10-year plan to rebuild Ukraine’s military that will focus on shifting the country from using Soviet equipment to primarily using NATO weapons.