Space Launch Delta 30’s 2nd Range Operations Squadron range team recently conducted a U.S. Army Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles Project Office test launch of a Precision Strike Missile, or PrSM, on Oct. 13, 2021 from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. Known technically as a theater-support, surface-to-surface, precision-strike, guided missile, PrSM launched from a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, field artillery launcher.
Vandenberg offers a unique geographical location with support from multiple, highly-skilled Airmen and Guardians across the base. The 2 ROPS members were able to aid the accomplishments of the PrSM program objective of safely and effectively testing the missile’s long-range mission trajectory and performance from the HIMARS launcher in STORM’s first-ever launch from the base. Months of coordination, rehearsals and supporting instrumentation fixes by 2 ROPS members culminated in a successful test launch and proven demonstration of PrSM from a non-traditional launch environment.
Facilitating a launch like PrSM from Vandenberg helps amplify one of the Army’s top priorities from its Army Modernization Strategy, which states a need for “a deliberate, synchronized approach that modernizes how we fight, what we fight with, and who we are will enable the Army to achieve irreversible momentum now to build the Multi-Domain Operations ready force by 2035.”
PrSM is a priority program for the Army and is intended to replace the Army Tactical Missile System. It will play an important role in the service’s future deep-strike capability necessary to counter Russian and Chinese capabilities. The original intent was to reach a maximum of 499 kilometers, but America’s 2019 withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia has allowed the U.S. Army to develop the missile to reach ranges much farther. The INF Treaty prevented the development of missiles with ranges between 499 and 5,000 kilometers.The missile is expected to exceed a distance of 499 kilometers in the October test. The PrSM will also be shot during the Army’s Project Convergence campaign of learning at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, this year.