US Army Seeks to Fire a PrSM 499 Kilometers in Max Range Test of Lockheed Martin-Made Weapon
The US Army's Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional team and Program Executive Office Missiles and Space group are charged with running the service's Precision Strike Missile, or PrSM, program. The long-range precision-strike missile initiative is geared toward replacing the Cold War-era Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).
The US Army was slated to conduct a PrSM test-launch from California's Vandenberg Space Force on Wednesday to demonstrate the maximum range of the surface-to-surface missile, according to a report from Breaking Defense.
Lockheed Martin and US military officials expect the missile to hit a target situated 499 kilometers (310 miles) away -- the rocket's "max range," according to Lockheed executives who spoke with the outlet.
The Lockheed Martin-made missile is designed with an "insensitive munition (IM) propulsion system IM energy energetic payload" that is designed to travel between 60 kilometers (37 miles) to 499 kilometers (310 miles).
The munition includes two rounds per launch pod, and is compatible with the US service's Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270 and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)-family launchers.
The service is expected to buy, for an unknown price, 2,400 PrSM weapons over the course of the program's lifetime.
The first 20 missiles will be delivered during an initial fielding date in 2023.
Paula Hartley, Lockheed’s vice president of tactical missiles, told Tuesday attendees of the annual 'Association of the United States Army' conference that the defense contractor was anxious "to demonstrate PrSM's capability in this very extended range mission."
Hartley said that Lockheed Martin has already tested the PrSM at a variety of distances, and with "specific objectives in mind."
The munition cleared 400 kilometers (249 miles) during a September test.
The Army's next PrSM test is scheduled for November, and will include a side-by-side missile firing, according to the Lockheed Martin executive. White Sands Missile Range will serve as the location for this demonstration.
The PrSM is set to replace the Army's ATACMS, a suite of surface-to-surface, inertially-guided missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles).
The US Army extensively used ATACMS during its Operation Desert Storm (1991) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) Middle East attacks. The missiles are designed to eliminate important targets such as air defense artillery sites, surface-to-surface missile units, helicopter bases, command/control complexes and logistics sites.