It is reported that US-based defense and aviation company Lockheed Martin, the main contractor of the fifth-generation fighter F-35, has successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program at White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico. According to the statement, all the main objectives of the trial were achieved in a flawless second performance after the missile’s maiden flight last December, when it flew 240 km (149 miles).
The PrSM was fired from Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher. It flew a nominal trajectory approximately 180 km (122 miles) to the target area. According to Lockheed Martin, the missile was tested for confirming the missile’s flight trajectory, range, and accuracy from launch to warhead event, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS launcher integration, and overall missile performance.
With a speed of more than 5 Mach numbers and an official initially declared range of 60 to 499 km, the next-generation surface-to-surface weapon system will deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking, neutralizing, suppressing and destroying targets. It also provides Army field commanders at the brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint, and Coalition forces.
“Today’s flight test further demonstrated the reliability, precision and critical capabilities Lockheed Martin is building into the PrSM,” said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The missile performed exactly as expected and successfully engaged the target with pinpoint accuracy.”
The new hypersonic missile is being developed as a replacement for the Army’s Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which was designed in the 1970s and is fast approaching the end of its useful life, as well as being obsolete. The new project is an analog of the Iskander-M system, which for several years has been in operational service in the Russian Army.