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Air-Launched Weapons

Raytheon conducts first arena test of DeepStrike warhead

23 May 2019
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Raytheon Missile Systems has conducted a successful arena test of the intended advanced warhead for its DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile (SSM).

DeepStrike is the Raytheon solution for the US 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 System (ATACMS) in the army's inventory.Raytheon conducted a successful arena test of the advanced warhead for its DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile on 7 May at the National Technical Systems testing facility in Camden, Arkansas. (Raytheon)Raytheon conducted a successful arena test of the advanced warhead for its DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile on 7 May at the National Technical Systems testing facility in Camden, Arkansas. (Raytheon)

Designed to travel at speeds in excess of Mach 6, Raytheon's DeepStrike solution is 13 ft (3.9 m) in length, just under 17 inches (43 cm) in diameter, and weighs approximately 1,700 lbs (771 kg). The missile will feature a new solid rocket motor that is being developed by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS) - NGIS is also developing the propulsion system for the Lockheed Martin PrSM solution - a 200-lbs high-explosive blast fragmentation warhead and a Flight Termination System (FTS) developed by Dynetics. Guidance for DeepStrike is delivered through GPS combined with a Raytheon-designed advanced inertial platform for improved precision and accuracy.

Conducted on 7 May at the National Technical Systems testing facility in Camden, Arkansas - but disclosed by the company on 22 May - the results of the warhead arena test "exceeded [US] Army performance requirements based on the mass and distribution of fragments", according to a Raytheon statement. A Raytheon spokesperson told Jane's that additional warhead tests will be conducted in 2020 during the enhanced Technical Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase of the PrSM programme, which starts later this year. The first flight test of the DeepStrike Missile is planned for the fourth quarter of 2019.

In December 2018 Raytheon, in co-operation with the US Army, completed a system level preliminary design review (PDR) of its DeepStrike hypersonic SSM.

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