WASHINGTON (GDC) — The US Army held a third test for Lockheed Martin’s precision strike missile, or PrSM, firing it out of a HIMARS launcher at White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico, Thursday morning.
This latest 85-kilometer test was the shortest and most challenging yet, according to Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, the Army’s Long Range Precision Fires cross-functional team director.
Future testing will look at longer ranges, and Army Futures Command is examining what officials actually want the PrSM missile to do, including engaging moving armored vehicles at extended ranges. A maximum range shot will occur in roughly one year.
The missile 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 percent mission success. And it’s the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority.”
At this point, Lockheed is the only competitor vying to replace the Army Tactical Missile System after Raytheon exited the competition in March. Being down to one competitor might not be permanent, though, according to Gen. John Murray, who helms Army Futures Command.
“No concern whatsoever about being down to one competitor,” 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, 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 what are possible solutions for those next spirals.”
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