US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) Enters EMD Phase

The US Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal has awarded Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control a USD23.9 million contract for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD), and Early Operational Capability Lot 1 missiles – currently in Milestone B – of the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) weapon system.

The contract – the estimated completion of which is late April 2025 – is a modification to an earlier USD20 million contract awarded by the army in April for the procurement of long-lead item materials needed to support the development, testing, and qualification of the PrSM system.

Under Increment 2 of the program already underway, the MoU covers the incorporation of technology which is understood to include an enhanced seeker to allow surface ships and air-defense systems to be engaged. This phase will also seek to increase the weapon’s lethality and deliver extended range capability. 

The US Army’s PrSM program was originally conceived to develop a missile with a maximum range of 499 km, within the limits of the US-Russian Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned the development of strike weapons with ranges between 500 and 5,000 km. However, the Trump administration withdrew from the INF treaty in 2019 and US media reports in June suggest the US Army now wants to extend the weapon’s maximum range to beyond 1,000 km before the end of 2023. 

PrSM development is managed through the US Program Office Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles, which has the (arguably) predictable acronym, PO STORM, within the DASA DE&C organization.

Both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were competing for the PrSM contract, but the latter withdrew from the program in March 2020. In May this year Lockheed Martin announced the PrSM system had achieved a range of 400 km during a test launch at the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The test was the fourth in a series of launches, which validated the missile’s technology maturation and risk reduction at various ranges between 85 km and 240 km. The US Army is seeking to field the PrSM capability by the end of 2023.

The PrSM is also participated Australian Army’s Long-Range Fires (Land 8113) project and Australian Army aims to procure 400KM range PrSM.

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