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State Department approves Poland's $10B rocket purchase from Lockheed Martin

Poland now has approval to buy $10 billion worth of rocket-propelled weapons systems (pictured) from Lockheed Martin, in a move announced by the U.S. State Department Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
1 of 5 | Poland now has approval to buy $10 billion worth of rocket-propelled weapons systems (pictured) from Lockheed Martin, in a move announced by the U.S. State Department Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Poland now has approval to buy $10 billion worth of rocket-propelled weapons systems in a move announced by the U.S. State Department Tuesday.

The sale is for the American-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers and related support systems, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency confirmed in a statement.

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"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe," the agency, which is part of the Defense Department, confirmed Tuesday.

If given final approval, the order would consist of 18 of the HIMARS launchers, as well as the necessary armaments, guidance systems and hardware.

Congress was notified of the pending sale Tuesday. Poland was required to formally request approval for any possible sale. The country previously tried to acquire the rocket systems before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Poland tried again last May to acquire the rocket launch systems.

The equipment will not alter the region's current military balance and can be seamlessly integrated into Poland's existing military capabilities. It will not diminish or negatively affect U.S. military capabilities.

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Poland will use the weapons to modernize its current defenses and to "deter regional threats."

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have all purchased the same system.

Builty by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin at its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas, the portable rocket system is "the most technically advanced, affordable and sustainable artillery solution," the company says on its website.

"The HIMARS is the newest member of the MLRS launcher family. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of GMLRS rockets or one TACMS missile on the army's family of medium tactical vehicles 5-ton truck, and can launch the entire MLRS family of munitions."The announcement comes as Russia sends troops and other military reinforcements to Ukraine, where its war is now less than three weeks from entering its second year. Poland shares a 330-mile border with Ukraine.

Also Tuesday, the Netherlands said it will help Denmark and Germany deliver 100 refurbished German-made Leopard 1A5 tanks to Ukraine.

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