Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control conducted the second consecutive flight test of its candidate next-generation surface-to-surface missile solution for the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) programme, intended to replace the Army Tactical Missile System at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico on 10 March. The missile’s range in the test was 180 kilometers, which was shorter than the first flight test but more challenging, as the missile must go up and come down quicker. The missile’s launch, trajectory, guidance and impact performed exactly as expected, she added.
Lockheed and Raytheon are locked in a head-to-head competition to replace the ATACMS. Lockheed now has two flight tests under its belt, but Raytheon is lagging. The latter company was supposed to test its version of PrSM late last year, but technical difficulties delayed the test and it still has yet to be rescheduled. Lockheed’s PrSM had its first flight test on Dec. 10, 2019, from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launcher, during which it flew roughly 240 kilometers to the target, a release stated. The US Army has a goal to initially field a PrSM in 2023; it is one of the major development efforts within the service’s long-range precision fires portfolio. LRPF is the Army’s top modernization priority.
The successful second test launch comes two months after the system’s first test on December 10, 2019, when it flew 240 km (149 mi). According to Lockheed, the second test went off without a hitch and fulfilled all of its objectives. These included confirming not only the system’s accuracy and strike power but also its flight trajectory, range, overall performance, and how well it integrates with the HIMARS launcher. PrSM uses a modular, open architecture design and is compatible with the MLRS M270 and HIMARS family of launchers and their descendants. With its insensitive munition (IM) propulsion system providing a range of over 499 km (310 mi), its purpose is to provide Army field commanders at the brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint and Coalition levels with a long-range precision strike capability.