The Army has awarded Lockheed Martin [LMT] a contract worth up to $158 million to produce additional Precision Strikes Missiles (PrSM) to meet an early operational capability (EOC) requirement, the company said Thursday.
The new deal, which is the second production contract to date for PrSM, begins with an initial $77 million order the Army placed on Sept. 26 for 54 missiles.
Lockheed Martin said the new production deal “follows a successful Manufacturing Readiness Assessment milestone visit with the Army – a critical step in the development program advancing PrSM closer to fielding.”
PrSM is the Army’s program to replace its legacy ATACMS missiles, also built by Lockheed Martin, with Army officials previously noting the base weapon could be asked to reach ranges out past 500 kilometers, while subsequent technology spirals may push to ranges of 700 to 800 kilometers.
Last September, the Army approved moving the PrSM program into the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase and also awarded the first production contract for the initial set of early operational capability missiles (Defense Daily, Oct. 1 2021).
Lockheed Martin is expected to begin delivering the first set of EOC PrSM missiles in 2023 and then the missiles under the newly announced deal in 2024.
A full-rate production decision following the conclusion of the PrSM EMD phase is expected in 2025.
PrSM rounds currently in production will be used in upcoming system qualification tests, Lockheed Martin noted, with the next set of flight tests scheduled for 2023.
Lockheed Martin has conducted a series of PrSM flight tests to date, including a maximum range test shot at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California last October that surpassed 499 kilometers and the first side-by-side missile firing as part of Project Convergence 2021 (Defense Daily, Oct. 14).