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US Army’s Precision Strike Missile hits new distance record

US Army file photo of a PrSM launching from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during an earlier test

After setting a flight distance record during its fourth consecutive flight test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, in May this year, the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) completed its longest flight to date.

PrSM exceeded the maximum threshold during the test at Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB), California, on October 13. The event marked the fifth consecutive successful flight test for the missile.

Firing from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) launcher, the PrSM flew an extended range mission over the Pacific Ocean.

“The Precision Strike Missile continues to validate range and performance requirements,” said Paula Hartley, vice president of Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Achieving this long-range milestone for the baseline missile demonstrates PrSM’s capability to meet our customer’s modernization priorities on a rapid timeline.”

The success comes on the heels of two US Army contract awards issued in September for early operational capability (EOC) production and engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) advancing the missile to the next phase of the PrSM program.

Lockheed Martin is working alongside the US Army to optimize this next-gen system for the future. Implementing digital tools such as augmented reality, advanced modeling and sim, machine learning/data analytics, and software factory to streamline efforts has helped accelerate PrSM’s development program with speed, agility and efficiency.

“We are also working closely with our Army partners to develop and integrate future incremental capabilities,” said Hartley.

The flight is the second of three demonstrations taking place this year as part of the enhanced technology maturation and risk reduction (ETMRR) phase of the development program. The next flight is scheduled this fall as part of the US Army’s Project Convergence 21.

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).