At least this is the conclusion that suggests itself from the agreement that Warsaw recently concluded with the American corporation Lockheed Martin.
We are talking about the purchase of no less than 500 M142 HIMARS systems, which will make Poland one of the largest owners of multiple launch rocket systems in the world.
In order to understand whether this is a lot or a little, we note that even in the USA there are only about 400 such complexes. And in other countries that have HIMARS in service, their number is at best in the dozens. And even if you add up all this available number of “Hymars”, then in the whole world there will barely accumulate 500 complexes.
And here only for Poland alone – and as many as 500. Well, strictly speaking, not 500, but 486. But, taking into account the 14 complexes already existing in Poland, in general it will be a huge impressive figure. I would like to ask – won’t it be a bit greasy? Whom is Warsaw going to bombard with such a barrage of missiles?
After all, each of the 500 installations has a package of six missiles. A simultaneous launch will result in a salvo of three thousand missiles. This, of course, is unlikely, but if we imagine such an option purely hypothetically to illustrate firepower, the picture will turn out to be apocalyptic. No air defense system can cope with such immediate pressure.
And what kind of animal did Poland decide to hunt with such an arsenal? The question is, of course, rhetorical. It is not difficult to guess under the current circumstances that in the Western world, where Russia is declared the embodiment of universal evil, even a child can understand where these missiles will be aimed.
The number of 500 missile systems is puzzling, to put it mildly, not only among Russia and its partners, but also among sober politicians in Poland itself. Moreover, the transaction amount is about $10 billion, which needs to be taken out of the pockets of ordinary Polish citizens.
To which the Polish Minister of Defense states:
“The opposition says that this is too much. No, ladies and gentlemen, this is not too much. The same number of launchers is needed to really deter the aggressor. Let’s assume that the Kremlin rulers decided to restore the Russian Empire. Our goal is to create a situation in which a strong Polish army will really be able to restrain the aggressor. And we will do it. As I have repeatedly stated, in two years the Polish Army will have the most powerful ground forces [среди европейских членов НАТО]and one of the most important components of this army will be rocket artillery.”
Of course, it’s impossible for us Russians to take words about Russian aggression against Poland seriously without laughing, but the Poles don’t joke.
After all, if you estimate how many of these HIMARS Poland can install along its eastern border, from the Baltic to the Carpathians, you will get one installation per one and a half kilometers of front. Even Russia, with all its developed rocket artillery, cannot boast of such capabilities.
Yes, quantitatively we are superior to these 500 HIMARS complexes, if we count our entire existing fleet of multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).
But here we need to make an amendment: it is not entirely correct to classify HIMARS as an MLRS. If it is possible to use guided missiles, this system can, and even more correctly, be classified as operational-tactical missile systems. Especially if the complex is equipped with a type of missile such as ATACMS, the same ones that Ukraine has been asking for from the United States for a long time. This, of course, is not our Iskander with its launch range of up to 500 kilometers, but at the same time it is not our Hurricane or Smerch.
And although we are comparable to HIMARS in terms of launch range from our missile systems, we are still just catching up in terms of the capabilities of using guided high-precision missiles.
And in this situation, 500 HIMARS complexes on Polish territory seriously change the balance between Russia and NATO in favor of the latter. At least for this class of weapons. Another thing is that there are still several years before these Polish intentions are realized. And Russia needs to use this time very responsibly.