Raytheon, in co-operation with the US Army, has completed a system level preliminary design review (PDR) of its DeepStrike hypersonic surface-to-surface missile.
Concluded in December 2018, but announced in late March 2019, the completion of the PDR paves the way for component-level test and integration activities, followed by initial flight testing of the DeepStrike missile later this year.
DeepStrike is the Raytheon solution for the army's Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) requirement: an all weather, precision-strike guided missile intended to replace the legacy non-Insensitive Munitions and Cluster Munition policy compliant Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) currently in the US Army inventory.
The US Army's PrSM requirement, formerly designated 'Long-Range Precision Fires' (LRPF), is being competed by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. In June 2017, the army awarded Raytheon a USD116.4 million LRFP Phase 2 contract, which includes technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) for the development of a prototype missile system. Lockheed Martin was awarded a parallel USD73.8 million TMRR contract in July 2017.
The LRPF designation now refers to one of six 'cross-functional teams' (CFTs) that focus on specific developments prioritised by the US Army's Futures Command. These include PrSM, an Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) for howitzers, and a strategic-range strike system that could use hypersonics or hypervelocity weapons.
The prototype PrSM missile system requirement includes a launch pod missile container and a fully integrated surface-to-surface guided missile that will be compatible with the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers. The baseline missile, which will be developed and fielded to engage a wide variety of targets at ranges of up to 499 km - just short of the 500 km range limit provision of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) - will, in the first instance, address imprecisely located area and point targets.
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