The US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) set a flight distance record during its fourth consecutive flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, on May 12.
The 400-kilometer demonstration is another step in the fielding of the surface to surface missile by fiscal year 2023, according to US Army plans.
The PrSM was fired from a HIMARS launcher and flew with expected precision to the target area where it demonstrated a “highly accurate and effective warhead event,” according to Lockheed Martin, the main contractor on the PrSM program.
Test objectives included confirming flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to impact, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS integration and overall missile performance.
“PrSM accomplished all of the army’s test objectives again today in its longest flight yet,” said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The missile’s impressive performance to date reflects the dedication of the joint-industry PrSM team to advance this capability with speed, efficiency and precision.”
The 400-kilometer flight is the first of three demonstrations that will take place this year as part of the Enhanced Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (ETMRR) phase of the development program.
This series of flight tests follows three successful TMRR demonstrations culminating last spring. Additional ETMRR flights are slated for the second half of 2021 and will include a maximum range flight test and participation in the US Army’s Project Convergence this fall.
PrSM is part of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) family of munitions that will complement the current suite of Guided MLRS rockets and replace ATACMS.
The new missile will be expected to engage targets at extended ranges in all weather conditions exceeding the ATACMS maximum range of 300 kilometers. Future PrSM increments will concentrate on increasing the range and engagement of time-sensitive, moving, hardened, and fleeting targets. Army units will fire the PrSM missiles from the tracked M270A2 MLRS and the wheeled M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
Raytheon Missile Systems also planned to compete in the program but had to withdraw from the TMRR phase competition due to technical issues during component testing that prevented it from completing the required prototype flight tests by March 2020.