WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to the Netherlands for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, according to a Thursday statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
Under the deal, the Netherlands would purchase 20 Lockheed Martin-made M142 HIMARS launchers, along with 17 Humvees. The package also included support and communications equipment, as well as 29 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System alternative warhead missile pods with the insensitive munitions propulsion system.
The potential sale is worth about $670 million. Now that the agency has notified Congress, the value and quantity of materiel could change while negotiations are underway.
The possible deal “will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” according to the DSCA.
The sale comes as the HIMARS receives increased attention due to their use on the battlefield in Ukraine. The Netherlands is seeking the weapon to build up its own defense capabilities. In July 2022, the State Department approved a possible foreign military sale to the Netherlands for $1.2 billion involving Raytheon Technologies-made Patriot missiles.
The Netherlands has supported Ukraine through the nearly yearlong war against a Russian invasion. During a visit to the White House on Jan. 17, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his country planned to join German and American efforts to train Ukraine on the Patriot system.
The Netherlands announced the month before that it earmarked €2.5 billion (U.S. $2.7 billion) to aid Ukraine.
Last week, the DSCA announced a possible sale of HIMARS launchers at a cost of $10 billion, and Lithuania was approved for a $495 million sale on Nov. 9.
Since Feb. 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the DSCA has announced at least five separate HIMARS sales to customers in the Indo-Pacific region and Europe.
As of Jan. 25, 2023, the U.S. has included 38 HIMARS and related ammunition in its aid to Ukraine.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.