Allied Air Command
November 17, 2022

Royal Air Force and Romanian Army test deployability of NATO defensive capabilities

MIHAIL KOGĂLNICEANU, Romania – A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas transport aircraft conducted trials in Romania to rapidly deploy NATO capabilities, using a Romanian mobile artillery rocket system.

The week-long trials started on November 8 and involved an Atlas A400M aircraft crewed by 30 air mobility specialists that flew out of RAF Brize Norton to test the ability to load and transport the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) weapons system. The expeditionary character of the test was underscored by conducting all activities at Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base in Romania and using a HIMARS operated by the 8th Tactical Operational Missile Brigade of the Romanian Army.

The trials concluded with the weapons system being loaded, flown, unloaded to then fire a simulated missile strike, before reloading and returning to base. Also taking part as advisors were personnel from the United States Special Operations Command Europe.

Currently in service with several NATO Allies, the M142 HIMARS is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army and mounted on a medium tactical truck. The system carries one pod with six Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets.


The successful trial once also demonstrated that the RAF Air Mobility Force has the capability to operate at range with NATO allies to rapidly move unfamiliar equipment from other nations if called upon to do so. It also showcases NATO’s ability to draw on the Allies’ cooperation and combined capabilities….

Photograph: NATO