Recently, the American company Lockheed Martin officially announced the first flight tests of a promising tactical hypersonic missile, which is being developed as part of the PrSM project (Precision Strike Missile, high precision missile). The missile was launched at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The PrSM rocket covered a distance of about 240 kilometers and successfully hit the intended target. In addition to that, no other details about the tests are specified.
The new hypersonic missile is being developed as a replacement for the obsolete ATACMS ammunition, which is currently equipped with missiles with cluster warheads. Besides, the military is also considering the use of new ammunition in multiple M270A1 MLRS and M142 HIMARS rocket launch systems. Current ATACMS missiles are capable of flying at a speed of about 3 Mach, while new PrSM rocket can fly at speeds of more than 5 Mach.
According to the requirement of the U.S. Army, the objective range of the PrSM project missile must be 499 kilometers. However, some unofficial data says, the range of the ammunition will be at least 550 kilometers, writes the American publication Defense News.
“Today’s success validates all of the hard work our PrSM team has put into the design and development of this missile,” said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin. “This test flight is the most recent success in a long line of product component and sub-component testing successes conducted as part of our proven development discipline to assure total mission success for our U.S. Army customer.“
In addition to Lockheed Martin, the American company Raytheon is also developing a tactical hypersonic missile. A little more than a year ago, in August 2018, Raytheon published a video of the DeepStrike ground-to-ground missile, which is designed specifically to hit targets located at a distance of 300-499 kilometers.