This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) has completed its minimum short-range qualification fire testing, passing a critical milestone.

The PrSM is Lockheed Martin’s offering for the company’s Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) family, and the US Army’s next-generation long-range precision strike missile. This new surface-to-surface weapon can reportedly neutralize targets beyond 400 kilometers and has an open systems architecture design that makes it highly affordable and flexible. It is also modular and is compatible with both HIMARS and M270.

The rocket system has a planned range of 400 kilometers, and has reached a record range of 150 kilometers in September 2023. Nevertheless, this short-range test is important because it proved the missile’s structural integrity and targeting capability at its required minimum range.

According to Interesting Engineering, the recent test demonstrates the system’s continued accuracy from launch to impact, and although it didn’t cover PrSM’s primary mission range, it involved the shortest distance flown to date and represented a challenging environment for the missile. Lockheed Martin reported that the missile had to maneuver at hypersonic speeds to align with the target, which made it a highly stressful and dynamic environment, therefore the test was crucial in verifying the missile’s structural integrity and trajectory control.

Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control stated: “This demonstration is the first of several production qualification tests moving PrSM closer to fielding and delivery of Early Operational Capability (EOC) missiles this year.”

This partnership between Australia and the US to develop Lockheed Martin’s PrSM is also expected to greatly benefit Australia- it is especially important as Australia aims to establish long-range strike capabilities in order to protect its sovereign interests and maintain regional security, notably against potentially hostile nations like China.