KEY POINTS

  • The Army performed a test of the PrSM
  • The PrSM was fired at 52-mile distant target
  • The PrSM will provide long-range capability in battlefield

The U.S. Army just completed the latest test of its next-generation long-range missile prototype. The test has shown that the experimental missile can effectively attack enemy targets within its maximum range of 310 miles (500 kilometers).

According to Military.com, the new Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) successfully destroyed a target located at 52 miles (85 kilometers) during an April 30 test. The test was conducted at the White Sands Missile Range location, New Mexico. The missile is made by the Army’s contractor Lockheed Martin.

The U.S. Army plans to begin replacing the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) in 2023.

The objectives of the latest test were confirming warhead lethality, missile's flight range, trajectory and accuracy, as well as overall missile performance and HIMARS launcher integration. The test successfully validated the PrSM technology, according to a Lockheed Martin news release.

The next-generation surface-to-surface, precision-strike missile is designed to deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking and destroying tactical targets on the battlefield. The PrSM weapon system will provide a new long-range capability to field artillery units. It will play an important role in supporting Joint and Coalition forces, Army, corps, division and brigade units.

The director of the Army's Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, said that the test was "the shortest and most challenging yet". In order to adjust its attack angle in a short period of time, the Precision Strike Missile must expend more energy at shorter ranges. As soon as the missile came out of the launcher, it started tipping and reached the target located at 52 miles in just 91 seconds. Rafferty said that the PrSM hit targets at 180 kilometers and 240 kilometers prior to this latest test. The Army has scheduled four additional tests for the next year.

Same as the ATACMS, the PrSM will be deployed by the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System launchers. The new surface-to-surface missile is initially intended for airfields and other stationary targets, according to the commander of the Army Futures Command, Gen. John "Mike" Murray. By 2025, a surface-to-surface missile with upgraded capability will be able to destroy moving targets.

Missile launch Missile launch Photo: Pixabay