Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Third test of Lockheed’s Precision Strike Missile completed by US Army

Lockheed Martin's PrSM missile was tested for a third time at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, on April 30, 2020. (Lockheed Martin)

The third test of Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile has been carried out by the US Army, which fired the missile from a HIMARS launcher at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The third test of Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile has been carried out by the US Army, which fired the missile from a HIMARS launcher at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The test was of shorter-range capability at only 85 kilometres and was the most challenging, according to Brigadier General John Rafferty, the Army’s Long Range Precision Fires cross-functional team director reporting to Defense News.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“The missile almost has to start tipping over as soon as it comes out of the launcher. It has to burn off a lot of energy in order to turn over," said BG Rafferty. “But we started off with 240 kilometres, went to 180 and now we’re at 85.”

Longer Range testing is planned for the future as the Army Futures Command is still examining the needs of the missile system, such as striking moving armed vehicles. 

There will be a maximum range test in less than a year.

The missile reportedly performed as expected and as required in every way, as it had in two previous tests, said Gaylia Campbell, Lockheed’s vice president of precision fires and combat maneuver systems.

“The team has really performed flawlessly,” Campbell said. “And being able to take a clean sheet design of a new missile and be able to perform three for three — [that’s] really 100 per cent mission success. And it’s the Army’s No. 1 modernisation priority.”

PROMOTED CONTENT

Lockheed is the only competitor vying to replace the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) after Raytheon exited the competition in March. Being down to one competitor might not be permanent, though, according to General John Murray, who helms Army Futures Command.

“No concern whatsoever about being down to one competitor,” GEN Murray said. "Based upon a lot of factors, there will be chances to introduce competition in this program as we get into further increments.”

Future increments, called spirals, would add a more capable seeker, make the missile more lethal and extend its range. For the missile’s seeker technology, BG Rafferty said his team is moving into the hands-on testing, outside of the lab, in the next few months.

Campbell said Lockheed plans to participate in any future competitions, "looking at what are possible solutions for those next spirals”.

The service anticipates the final range will exceed 500 kilometres in light of the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The PSM will be shot out of the same HIMARS launchers used by the ATACMS it’s intended to replace, cutting costs for the Army.

“We’re not investing in a new fleet of launchers and we’re getting two missiles in the same pod that our current missile goes into, so we’re actually doubling the load-out of our current fleet with this missile technology,” GEN Murray said.

The new missile system will have applications in multiple theatres, as well, noted Rafferty.

“The early capability is against long-range artillery and integrated air defence systems,” he said. “As you integrate the seeker technology, it gives you the ability to go after the mini-targets. Those mini-targets can be maritime in the Pacific; those mini-targets can be fire control radars [and airfields] in the European scenario.”

Third test of Lockheed’s Precision Strike Missile completed by US Army
missile.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

The inaugural Defence Connect AIC Summit will place you with key decision-makers and stakeholders within the defence industry to discuss the government’s intention to improve AIC and increase the nation’s sovereign production, defence capability and resilience. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this event, register for free today to attend the live stream on 22 October. Register your interest to attend, visit: www.defenceconnect.com.au/aic-summit

more from defence connect

Veteran owned start-up partners with Disaster Relief Australia
Sep 28 2021
Veteran owned start-up partners with Disaster Relief Australia
Corporate responsibility is taking on new meaning after BenchOn partnered with Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) to launch a world...
Sep 28 2021
Defence bolsters national security research funding
Universities across Australia have secured millions of dollars in research grants as part of a new push to develop national securi...
Sep 28 2021
Rohde & Schwarz, Thales win German frigate contract for comms and radar electronic support measures
Rohde & Schwarz confirmed that the companies had been selected to develop their R&S KORA communications and radar electron...