Thursday, April 7, 2016

US Marines to bring M142 HIMARS multiple launch rocket system to Antique for the ongoing Balikatan Exercises


US Marines will bring High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Antique for Balikatan Exercise on Monday.

The US Marines fired six rounds of the rocket system in the gunnery range of Crow Valley Capas, Tarlac recently.

This served as a practice rocket and test-firing for the Balikatan final and live-fire exercise open to media and will be held also in Crow Valley next Thursday.

Because ballasted with non-explosive materials, the range of the practice rocket was 15 kilometers.

The M142 HIMARS multiple launch rocket system is a lighter version of the M270 MLRS, based on a 6x6 truck chassis.

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) at Crow Valley, Tarlac, Philippines
This has a capacity of firing on ground or sea target with a maximum firing range of 300 kilometers or 186 miles.

HIMARS can also be a common launcher for both artillery rockets and the surface-launched variant of the AMRAAM anti-aircraft missile.

The spokesperson of Balikatan-2016, Captain Frank Sayson said, this is the first time it will be used during the Balikatan war games of US and the Philippines.

"Definitely why the US shows it during the Balikatan Exercise is the projection of our modernization towards territorial defense operation".

The said military weapon will be brought to Antique and Palawan for the Joint Rapid Reaction Force and Beach Landing Exercise which are also part of the Philippine-US military Balikatan Exercise this year.

It will not be fired, but its mobility will be tested and it will be lifted by the US C-130 aircraft.

"We will be checking the capability of this weaponry, it would be transported by planes the C-130 Tangos" said Capt. Sayson.

Meanwhile, AFP insisted that the equipment used by US during Balikatan 2016 has no connection with the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA.

AFP also said, Balikatan-2016 aims to intensify its military tactics and logistics for better  humanitarian assistance and disaster response.