US Military Is Looking to Advance Long-Range Missiles

US Military Is Looking to Advance Long-Range Missiles

( – Nowadays, the phrase “thank you for your service” is an almost automatic response when individuals say they are/were in one of the military branches. Why did that come about? Because people came to realize that service members are the ones at the proverbial pointy end of the stick when they put themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us.

Given that stark truth, it’s hard to argue against the idea that the government owes them the best equipment possible to bring them back home alive and in one piece. To that end, the United States Army is looking to develop a Long Range Maneuverable Fires (LRMF) missile system to engage the enemy at an extended distance far beyond line of sight.

Distance Saves Lives

Sun Tzu was a master strategist for the Chinese military who lived several centuries BC and yet his writings in the “Art of War” are still taught by the United States military. But it doesn’t take anything near his genius to understand that if an army can attack its opposition before the enemy can even see it coming, more of its soldiers will be able to return home to their families.

The LRMF technology is cutting edge and, as such, will need a lot of brainpower working on it, so the US Army did the smart thing and has contracted with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, and Northrop Grumman to all work on its development. According to the United States Army Acquisition Support Center, its mission profile would be to “attack, neutralize, suppress and destroy targets [providing] field artillery units with long-range and deep-strike capability.”

Northrop and Raytheon intend on working in collaboration on the propulsion system for the program, which is known as Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) increment 4, which will be able to be fired from existing artillery launchers. When originally envisioned, designers had planned on a standoff distance of 310 miles (~500 km), but now they are hoping to potentially double that distance.

Increment 1 of the project is expected to be in the field sometime in 2023 to replace the aging Army Tactical Missile System that is currently in use and has reduced effectiveness due to international treaties banning the use of cluster bombs which had made up a good part of its usable munitions. Increment 2 is expected sometime in 2026-27 and will include an advanced sensor system that will allow it to track moving targets, including ships at sea.

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