HIMARS achieves one million operational hours
Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) recently achieved a significant milestone with U.S. military forces, reaching one million operational hours. HIMARS is a lightweight mobile launcher, transportable by C-130 and larger aircraft for rapid deployment, that fires Guided MLRS and TACMS munitions. HIMARS consists of a launcher loader module and fire-control system mounted on a standard five-ton truck chassis. A specialized armored cab provides additional protection to the three Soldiers or Marines who operate the system. HIMARS is also fielded internationally.
With a 99-percent operational readiness rate over the past 10 years, HIMARS remains one of the most reliable systems used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The system is currently being employed strategically by the U.S. military in ongoing operations.
“This milestone is a testament to the legacy of performance and quality of design of the HIMARS system,” said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “HIMARS offers an unmatched strategic, combat-proven capability that helps Soldiers and Marines achieve their missions.”
HIMARS was initially fielded with the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment in May of 2005. Since then, 14 additional launcher battalions have been fielded with the U.S. Army in active and National Guard units. In 2007, the U.S. Marine Corps received its first HIMARS launchers.
ATF Publishes 41F
Within the January 15, 2016 publication of the Federal Register (Vol. 81, No. 10) was the final rule publication of 41F under Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau. Rules – Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity with Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm , 2658–2723 [2016–00192]. The rule can be found online at the ATF website. The rule changes the NFA paperwork requirements for non-person legal entities, and goes into effect 180 days from the publication date.
China Arms Sales Increase in 2015
According to figures released on 22 February by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Chinese arms exports have jumped dramatically.
Chinese weapons exports ballooned 88% in the 2011-15 period compared to 2006-10. This compared with a 14% rise in the overall volume of international arms sales in the same timeframe. This represents major growth for China, although admittedly the country is progressing from a relatively low base compared to traditional arms-exporting states like the USA, Russia, France or Germany.
From 2011-15, China still only accounted for 5.9% of global arms sales, although this was much higher than the 3.6% share it had in the preceding five-year period. Especially important, along the way China has dramatically leapfrogged France, Germany and the United Kingdom into third place on the sellers’ list.
SIPRI calculated that China sold major arms to 37 states in 2011-15, of which 75% went to the Asia and Oceania region. The region saw something of an explosion in Chinese weapon imports, with purchases 139% higher than in 2006-10. Pakistan led the way amongst the regional buyers with 35% of purchases, followed by Bangladesh (20%) and Myanmar (16%).