On March 10th, Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program at White Sands Missile Range, NM.
“Today’s flight test further demonstrated the reliability, precision and critical capabilities Lockheed Martin is building into the PrSM,” said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The missile performed exactly as expected and successfully engaged the target with pinpoint accuracy.”
PrSM was fired from Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and flew a nominal trajectory approximately 180 kilometers to the target area, culminating in a highly accurate and lethal warhead event.
Test objectives included confirming the missile’s flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to warhead event, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS launcher integration and overall missile performance.
“This second consecutive successful flight test of Lockheed Martin’s PrSM validates our missile technology and confidence that Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned to deliver this important, cost-effective capability to meet our U.S. Army customer’s priorities,” Campbell said.
— Lockheed Martin (@LockheedMartin) March 10, 2020
The next-generation precision-strike, surface-to-surface weapon system will deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking, neutralizing, suppressing and destroying targets at depth on the battlefield and give field artillery units a new long-range capability while supporting brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint and Coalition forces.
The PrSM was first tested on December 10th, back then, during the flight test the missile was also launched from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and flew approximately 240 kilometers to the target area.
“Today’s success validates all of the hard work our PrSM team has put into the design and development of this missile,” said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin. “This test flight is the most recent success in a long line of product component and sub-component testing successes conducted as part of our proven development discipline to assure total mission success for our U.S. Army customer.”
The Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program has been pursued by the U.S. Army since March 2017, proposing the creation of a new generation of high-precision tactical missiles with an official initially declared range of 60 to 499 km to replace the existing Lockheed Martin MGM-140 ATACMS family of American tactical missiles.
Like ATACMS, a PrSM missile should be launched from standard launchers of American missile systems M270A1 MLRS and M142 HIMARS, but, unlike ATACMS, four PrSM missiles (instead of two ATACMS) should be placed on the M270A1 MLRS launcher, and on the M142 HIMARS launcher – two PrSM missiles (instead of one ATACMS).
Although the maximum range of 499 km was initially officially announced for the PrSM rocket, in fact, the development was initially carried out taking into account the US expected withdrawal from the INF Treaty, and it is currently stated that the actual range of the rocket will be at least 550 km, according to some sources, it is possible to achieve the range 700-750 km (that is, the PrSM missile is a “shorter” range missile in terms of the INF Treaty).
Luckily, the INF Treaty was dismantled by Washington’s actions, but it is unlikely that the missile, with this exact range was not being developed even under the treaty, which specifically prohibited its usage.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile, Banned Under INF, Passes Tests
- US Leaving INF to Jump-Start Fielding of New Artillery-Launched Intermediate-Range Capable Systems