The US Army has given Raytheon the go-ahead to proceed into the technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) phase for its Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) effort, now called DeepStrike.
The company announced on 12 June that it received a USD116.4 million contract to enter the 34-month TMRR phase that will culminate in three guided flight tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The LRPF munition will likely replace the Lockheed Martin MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). One improvement the army is seeking is the ability to load two munitions into a single-launch pod container, which is not possible with the ATACMS. The two LRPFs per pod would enable the army to increase the rate of fires per launcher load.
JR Smith, director of advanced land warfare systems for Raytheon Missile Systems, told Jane's on 15 June that the company is looking at ways it might be able to accelerate the programme.
"All the various components and technologies involved are really kind of here and now," he said. "We are not trying to invent anything new. When you start looking at everything that is involved here - GPS receivers and guidance electronics, the control actuation system, warhead design - all this is well understood."
In March Raytheon conducted a test of its LRPF warhead solution. Smith noted the test went "very well".
Lockheed Martin had also received an award for the initial risk mitigation effort. The army is expected to award the company a similar contract for the TMRR phase.
Although Smith could not provide details of any of the components or subcomponents due to the ongoing LRPF competition, he said LRPF is leveraging work that Raytheon has in place on other programmes.
"We are leveraging stuff at the subcomponent level that we know is going to work well," he said.
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