American aerospace and defense firm Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $62 million contract for the next phase of development for the US Army’s precision strike missile (PrSM).
According to the US Department of Defense, the contract requires the company to facilitate the engineering and manufacturing of the weapon system after its latest flight tests were all declared a success.
The defense firm will also be responsible for the weapon’s manufacturing readiness, system qualification, and initial operational testing and evaluation.
“This important milestone is the next step toward fielding PrSM,” Lockheed Martin business development director Becky Withrow told Breaking Defense. “PrSM continues to deliver on performance requirements and we’re looking forward to continuing that in the next phase of development.”
Lockheed is expected to work on the missile’s next stage of development in Texas. The estimated completion date is April 2025.
About the Precision Strike Missile
The army’s new PrSM weapon system will replace the Cold War era Army Tactical Missile System, which can only hit targets at a distance of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles). The US Army states that the new missile will feature a maximum range of 500 kilometers (310 miles).
The system has an open systems architecture designed for maximum flexibility. It is also highly compatible with both the MLRS M270 and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) family of launchers.
Earlier this year, the army conducted a test shot of the PrSM at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. It travelled around 400 kilometers (250 miles), or the distance between New York City and Rochester, New York.
“PrSM was fired from a HIMARS launcher and it flew with the expected precision to the target area where it once again demonstrated a highly accurate and effective warhead event,” Lockheed official Gaylia Campbell told reporters in May.
Once the engineering and manufacturing of the PrSM are complete, the army said it will seek to immediately upgrade the system for improved accuracy in hitting moving targets.