The U.S. Army now has a new ballistic missile in its arsenal. On Friday, Dec. 8 the Army received the first shipment of the new Precision Strike Missile.
The Precision Strike Missile or PrSM is meant to replace the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, which have been in use for more than three decades. According to the military, the Army received its first of several shipments. It’s not clear how many missiles were in that shipment, or if any will be fielded beyond additional testing.
“The Precision Strike Missile will provide Joint Force commanders with a 24/7, all-weather capability that will counter the enemy’s ability to conduct combat maneuver and air defense operations,” said Doug Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “The rapid development and delivery of this capability is a prime example of the Army’s aggressive use of new acquisition authorities from Congress that allow us to move at much greater speed to get improved equipment to Soldiers.”
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Like the aging ATACMS, the PrSMs are meant to be fired from the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and M270A2 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems platforms. Unlike the ATACMS, the new weapon’s missile pods contain two munitions each, instead of just one, due to the smaller size of each missile. The PrSM’s exact range hasn’t been revealed, but the Army has said it can at least reach targets 250 miles away (ATACMS can hit as far as 190 miles away from the launch site). The surface-to-surface missile is meant to hit stationary targets, although it is described as a precision-guided munition.
After an initial competitive development process, Lockheed Martin became the sole developer of the new missile in 2020. The PrSM had a successful qualification test last month, hitting short-range targets in the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. At the time the Army said that the PrSM would be put into service to replace the older missiles.
The delivery comes as the U.S. Army tries to build out its artillery and rocket arsenal. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Army and wider U.S. military have been trying to shore up stockpiles of artillery rounds and missiles. Alongside an array of different munitions, the United States has supplied Ukraine with ATACMS. The weapons have proven effective in the battlefield, being used to target aircraft and other high-value targets.
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