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US Army PrSM test flight pushes 400 km range

Lockheed Martin is billing the latest flight test of a US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) prototype as a ’success’, after it flew about 400 km to a target site at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, on 12 May.

The programme is in the Enhanced Technical Maturation and Risk Reduction (ETMRR) phase under which the company is tasked with producing four missiles that will be used in three separate flight test events. This most recent flight test is the first to happen during this phase, with an M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) used to launch the weapon.

“Our test objectives included confirming the flight trajectory, range, and accuracy from launch to impact, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS integration, and overall missile performance,” said Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Precision Fires vice-president Gaylia Campbell.

“We executed the mission successfully and effectively,” she later said, noting that she was not aware of any anomalies that occurred during the test.

The next flight test series will be at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in the August to September timeframe. It is billed as a ‘max-range shot’ that will push the weapon’s range past 499 km.

The army then plans to show the weapon during Project Convergence 2021 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, where it intends to fire two PrSMs, ‘side-by-side’ from a HIMARS launcher.

”That will be the first time that we’ve done the side-by-side missile shot … which proves out that portion of the system, that you can shoot out of one side of the pod and then shoot out to the other side of the pod,” Campbell said.

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