Raytheon [RTN] said Wednesday it has completed a successful test of an advanced warhead the company is using on its offering for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program, moving the new weapon closer to flight testing before the end of 2019.

Officials said the demonstration of the company’s DeepStrike missile, which fires two missiles from a single weapons pod, exceeded the Army’s performance requirement for PrSM.

Rendering of Raytheon’s DeepStrike missile being launched. Photo: Raytheon.

“This test, on the heels of our successful preliminary design review for DeepStrike, shows how quickly we are moving to deliver this much-needed capability to ground troops,” Thomas Bussing, vice president of Raytheon’s Advanced Missile Systems, said in a statement. “With our advanced technology and expertise in missile design and development, Raytheon is uniquely positioned to provide the Army with the best possible, long-range surface-to-surface missile.”

PrSM is a program within the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires modernization portfolio to replace the Army Tactical Missile System surface-to-surface missiles, which are built by Lockheed Martin [LMT].

The new missile is expected to be capable of reaching ranges up to 499 kilometers, with plans to begin fielding systems by 2023, drastically accelerating the schedule from an original 2027 delivery date (Defense Daily, Oct. 10 2018).

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were both previously selected to develop and mature PrSM prototypes ahead of a series of live-fire tests at the end of 2019.

Raytheon officials said the recent demonstration was conducted at a National Technical Systems testing facility, where the warhead was detonated inside a controlled environment to determine the weapon’s ability to meet the Army’s requirements for mass and fragment distribution.