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Next Generation PrSM Deployment in US to unlock ATACMS Missiles for Ukraine.

| 2023

The US Department of Defense announced on December 9, 2023, the initial delivery of the next-generation long-range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM). This development marks a critical milestone in the transformation of the U.S. Army's artillery technology and could potentially enable the delivery of a significant number of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine.
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First Next-generation long-range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) delivered to the US Army. (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

The Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), in development since 2017 and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is the latest surface-to-surface missile in the U.S. arsenal. Launched from M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), the PrSM represents a substantial upgrade over its predecessor, the ATACMS missile. The initial version of the PrSM boasts an impressive range of 499 kilometers, surpassing the ATACMS by 200 kilometers.

Lockheed Martin has also been contracted to develop an even more advanced version of the PrSM, expected to double its current range. Additionally, an anti-ship variant of the missile is under development.

The successful production qualification testing of the PrSM was conducted in November at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The missile's arrival at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama signifies a significant leap in the U.S. Army's long-range precision strike capabilities. Capable of neutralizing targets at distances exceeding 400 kilometers, the PrSM is poised to play a crucial role in future military operations.

Doug Bush, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, emphasized the missile's capabilities, stating: "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 maneuvers and air defense operations."

This development also hints at potential changes in U.S. military support to Ukraine. The introduction of the PrSM into the U.S. arsenal could ease the decision to supply Ukraine with ATACMS missiles, considering the previously limited stockpile. The U.S. reportedly currently has over three thousand ATACMS in storage.

According to reports, Ukraine has received "less than a dozen" ATACMS missiles from the United States but has been assured of regular continued receipt of ATACMS missiles.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have successfully used ATACMS to target airfields in the occupied cities of Berdyansk and Luhansk on the night of October 17. Subsequently, Special Operations Forces disclosed that nine helicopters and specialized military equipment were destroyed, along with ammunition depots.

Compliant with cluster munition policies, the PrSM can engage targets beyond the ATACMS's maximum range of 300 kilometers. Its integration into the MLRS Family of Munitions, with a launch pod capable of holding two missiles - twice the capacity of ATACMS - signifies a shift in the U.S. Army's approach to long-range artillery.

As the U.S. Army continues to modernize its capabilities, the Precision Strike Missile emerges as a cornerstone in enhancing the country's strategic and tactical artillery power, ensuring a decisive edge in the evolving landscape of modern warfare.


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