Army awards second big order in a month for artillery rocket launcher that fires different smart munitions

June 6, 2024
These launchers fire the Army's future long-range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), and the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) rocket.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The U.S. Army is making the second big order within a month's time to Lockheed Martin Corp. for long-range artillery rocket launchers for a variety of sophisticated battlefield weapons.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., announced a $1.9 billion order Monday to the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Grand Prairie, Texas, to build M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

These launchers will fire the Army's future long-range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) -- a surface-to-surface, all weather, precision-strike guided missile fired from the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the M142 HIMARS.

The HIMARS smart munitions launcher also can fire the MLRS rocket and the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) rocket. This order is on top of a $861.3 million deal announced on 8 May 2024 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and supporting services.

Related: Lockheed Martin to upgrade Army's MLRS field artillery to fire a variety of modern long-range rockets

The PrSM multimode seeker homes-in on an enemy target's radar or radio communications emissions to give the weapon passive stealth capability. It also uses an imaging infrared sensor for terminal guidance, and also takes guidance from Global Position System (GPS) and inertial measurement sensors.

ATACMS, meanwhile, is a tactical ballistic missile that can fly as far as 190 miles. Ukraine has requested ATACMS from the U.S. for that nation's ongoing war with Russia. It was reported this week that Ukrainian forces hit a Russian air defense battery on Russian territory in what could be the first Ukrainian use of HIMARS rockets.

ATACMS uses solid propellant, measures 13 feet long and 24 inches in diameter, and the longest-range variants can fly up to 190 miles, and can fire from the tracked M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), as well as from HIMARS.

The PrSM smart munitions are to replace non-insensitive and cluster munition versions of ATACMS. It will provide Army and U.S. 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.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build GMLRS artillery smart munitions with fragmentation warheads in $2.8 billion deal

The baseline missile 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.

By 2025 the Army will be able to use the long-range 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 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 contract Lockheed Martin will do the work at locations to be determined with each order, and should be finished by May 2028. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at, or the Army Contracting Command-Redstone at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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