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Pentagon budget 2022: US Army caps future PrSM range at 650 km

Future iterations of the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) could reach targets out to 650 km, according to new budget documents that seemingly cap the weapon’s capability at a shorter range than previously discussed.

On 28 May the White House delivered its fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022) budget request to lawmakers. Included in the army’s portion is a USD354.5 million ask for PrSM next year — USD188.5 million to continue PrSM research and development (R&D), and USD166 million for the purchase of 110 missiles.

The service is currently testing PrSM prototypes in anticipation of fielding a baseline capability in 2023 that will have a range exceeding 500 km. Even with the first missile increment fielded, the army plans to continue upgrading missile with a multimode seeker that will enable it to also strike maritime targets, and reach ones further away. Brigadier General John Rafferty, head of the service’s Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, has previously said that one day PrSM could reach out to 700 km to 800 km.

However, PrSM justification documents say that the weapon will not hit targets quite that far.

“Future PrSM increments will provide increased lethality against hardened targets and extend range capability to 650 km,” the service wrote.

It noted that the USD188.5 million R&D request will support continued PrSM Increment 1 development to include system level ground and safety testing, launcher software integration, model and simulation verification and validation and missile system build up in support of FY 2023 production qualification flight testing.

As for the seeker, for FY 2022 the service is separately requesting USD15.7 million for development of its Land Based Anti-Ship Missile (LBASM) capability.

Shown here is an inaugural flight of Lockheed Martin’s PrSM prototype in December 2019. The army is requesting USD166 million for the purchase of 110 missiles in FY 2022. (US Army)

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