In the face of significant Russian gains in Ukraine from the late spring of 2022, one of the most notable new classes of weapons system supplied to the Ukrainian Military by its NATO allies has been the M142 HIMARS rocket artillery system - an asset prized for its high mobility, precision and long 92km engagement range. The system was first introduced into service in 2010, with Ukraine being only the sixth country in the world to deploy it. Although Russian sources have repeatedly reported losses among enemy HIMARS units, the assets are reported by Western sources to have significantly complicated the Russian war effort at a time when artillery more generally has gained increasingly central importance in the campaign. While Russia itself has somewhat neglected the field of rocket artillery since the end of the Cold War, which comes amid a broader trend towards industrial decline after the Soviet collapse, states aligned with Moscow may well be able to provide artillery systems matching or exceeding the performance of the HIMARS system to support the country’s war effort. North Korea and China have most notably led the field in rocket artillery development to produce systems without any near peer rivals elsewhere in the world.
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