Lockheed Martin eyes long-range precision missile with imaging infrared sensors and radio signals guidance

March 25, 2024
PrSM is a 300-mile surface-to-surface, all weather, precision-strike guided missile that fires at land targets and at enemy surface warships at sea.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Precision missile designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. are moving ahead with building U.S. Army long-range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) systems with multi-mode guidance to destroy enemy targets as far away as 300 miles.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., announced a $219.7 million contract on 5 March 2024 to the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Grand Prairie, Texas, for PrSM early operational capability lot 3.

The PrSM, which is ready to enter service, is a surface-to-surface, all weather, precision-strike guided missile fired from the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The missiles use Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation and inertial gyro navigation to reach the vicinity of their targets. Once the missiles reach their target areas, they listen for radio signals from enemy radar or communications to refine their targeting, and finally use imaging infrared sensors to pinpoint their targets before impact.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build 57 missiles with radio homing and infrared guidance to hit targets 300 miles away

Lockheed Martin won a $67.5 million contract last September for PrSM early operational capability lot 3. The company won a $23.9 million order in late 2021 for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD), and early operational capability of PrSM lot-one missiles that are in milestone B. EMD is the last developmental stage before full-scale production.

The long-range PrSM precision missiles that use imaging infrared sensors for terminal guidance are to replace non-insensitive and cluster munition versions of the Army MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS).

PrSM will provide Army and Marine Corps field artillery units with long range and deep strike capability. The PrSM will destroy, neutralize, or suppress targets at ranges from 43 to 250 miles using indirect precision fires.

The baseline missiles will be able to engage a wide variety of targets at ranges as long as 310 miles. It will emphasize imprecisely located area and point targets. Primary emphasis for follow-on upgrades will be on increased range, lethality, and ability to attack time-sensitive, moving, hardened, and fleeting targets.

Related: The future of precision-guided munitions

By 2025 the Army will be able to use PrSM to attack and destroy moving enemy ships operating offshore at ranges out to about 310 miles. While the weapon primarily has surface-to-surface applications for use against enemy air defenses, troop fortifications, and armored vehicle columns, the PrSM guidance system is being configured with an advanced targeting multi-mode seeker to include maritime strike.

The new targeting seeker has completed a captive carry test wherein it flew aboard an aircraft against representative targets in preparation for further testing and ultimate deployment.

On this order Lockheed Martin will do the work in Grand Prairie, Texas, and should be finished by March 2026. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/business-areas/missiles-and-fire-control.html, or the Army Contracting Command-Redstone at https://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-rsa/.

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