Video Above: Army 2-Star Describes Range Doubling, Course Correcting Artillery
The Army is about to deliver a cutting-edge ground-based weapon called the Precision Strike Missile, a promising technology able to track and destroy enemy targets at range out to 500km.
In development for many years, the PrSM has proven effective in tests and demonstrations to the point that the service is already expanding its capability to reach greater ranges and target sets.
“We did have a breakthrough in PrSM and that's with the extended range propulsion. With ramjet propulsion, we're very confident that the missile is going to go hundreds of kilometers more and we're working on that. We're confident in the in the base capability and we're already investing in the further increments to take the PrSM missile out farther and attack ships and other moving targets,” Maj. Gen. John Rafferty, Director, Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team, Army Futures Command, told Warrior in an interview.
The so-called “base version,” using its existing launcher and fire control system, will be greatly expanded with a new variant engineered to succeed the now arriving 500km variant.
Recommended for You
Precision Strike Weapon
Rafferty further explained that the Army is making progress on an even greater level with the Precision Strike Weapon, by developing guidance technology to increase the range, targeting precision and multi-domain capacity of the weapon.
“We're not stopping there, right? (the tests thus far) We're so confident in this missile that we've moved on to focusing on the seeker, the seeker on the front end of that missile is going to give it an enhanced capability to go after maritime targets,” Rafferty said.
While many of the technical specifics regarding the new seeker are not available for security reasons, the Army is taking clear and ambitious measures to expand upon the promise of the Precision Strike Weapon’s progress thus far.
“We are calling it a cross-domain capability into attack maritime targets up to 500 kilometers away and reach into other theaters,” Rafferty said.
Interestingly, the Navy has now engineered a Tomahawk missile able to adjust course in flight and destroy moving targets such as enemy ships. A Tomahawk can travel as far as 900-miles, and while the future range of PrSM may not yet be known, the emerging may indeed offer a land-based cruise-missile-like long-range attack capability.
Kris Osborn is the President of Warrior Maven - Center for Military Modernization and the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.