The US Army announced Thursday that its new Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) has completed a production qualification flight test in the “most stressful environment.”
The test, conducted at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, saw the new weapon system fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher at the shortest range possible.
According to manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the short-range flight test represented the most stressful environment for the PrSM because it had to have excellent trajectory control to align to the target at hypersonic speeds.
The trial also verified the overall structural integrity of the missile system.
“Preliminary results from the test show the [PrSM] performed nominally in terms of predicted flight trajectory, lethality, near-vertical engagement angle, and height of burst,” the US Army stated.
A final flight test report is expected to be released by the end of the year.
‘A Critical Capability’
Lockheed Martin’s PrSM is a next-generation, surface-to-surface long-range precision missile.
It has an operational range of 60 to 499+ kilometers (37 to 310+ miles).
The weapon boasts an open systems architecture, enabling maximum flexibility and compatibility with current launchers, such as the HIMARS and M270.
In September 2022, the service ordered 54 PrSMs from the American defense giant for $77.5 million.
According to Lockheed Vice President Jay Price, the missile system serves as a critical capability and the top long-range precision fires modernization priority for the US Army.
It will replace the army’s ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) to provide extended range and improved lethality to soldiers.
“This demonstration is the first of several production qualification tests moving PrSM closer to fielding and delivery of Early Operational Capability missiles this year,” Price said.