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US Army awards additional funding for PrSM development

The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control with an additional USD62 million to continue Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) development.

The service announced the modified deal on the final day of fiscal year (FY) 2021, 30 September, and said that the research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) dollars would cover work through to April 2025.

PrSM is slated to replace Lockheed Martin's MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Programme development includes a launch-pod missile container and a fully integrated surface-to-surface guided missile that will be compatible with M270A1 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) and M142 high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) launchers. The weapon will be delivered as a two-missiles-per-pod system – one in each launch cell – to double the loadout in both launchers.

The weapon's development currently revolves around an incremental approach that calls for fielding a baseline capability in 2023 that will have a range exceeding 500 km.

To achieve this, in May Lockheed Martin announced that it had successfully fired a PrSM prototype 400 km from a HIMARS launcher at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

It then planned to conduct a “max-range shot” designed to push the weapon's range beyond 499 km at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in the August-to-September timeframe. However, this test event has been postponed until October owing to range availability and requirements, a company spokesperson told Janes .

If all goes as planned, the army then intends to showcase the weapon during Project Convergence 2022 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, and will fire two PrSMs ‘side-by-side' from a HIMARS launcher.

As for future PrSM iterations, the army plans to add a multimode seeker that will enable the weapon to also strike maritime targets and reach ones further away.

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