US-based Raytheon Company has completed a critical static test of the new DeepStrike missile rocket motor.
With the completion of the trial, the maiden flight test of the advanced surface-to-surface weapon is expected to be conducted later this year.
Raytheon, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, is offering the DeepStrike missile for the army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) programme to replace the Army Tactical Missile System.
Raytheon advanced missile systems vice-president Thomas Bussing said: “Testing shows us how initial data assessments line up and validates them for the next phase in development.
“This test confirms our design for the DeepStrike propulsion system is solid and moves us one step closer to extending the army’s reach and doubling the load-out of long-range fires.”
Raytheon conducted the rocket motor test at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia. It has recently concluded a preliminary design review for the DeepStrike missile.
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The new long-range DeepStrike missile has exceeded US Army requirements. It is capable of striking fixed land targets from 60km to 499km away and will reach the targets faster than current systems.
The DeepStrike missile features a two-in-the-pod design and will fly farther than existing systems, giving the army double the firepower at half the cost per missile.
Furthermore, the long-range precision strike missile is more manoeuvrable than existing weapons. It has a modular, open architecture that simplifies system upgrades.
Bussing said: “With our expertise in advanced weapon systems, Raytheon is best positioned to provide an affordable, low-risk solution that gives the army an overwhelming advantage over our nation’s adversaries.”
The defence contractor provides command, control, communications, computers, cyber and intelligence (C5I), electronics, mission systems integration, sensing, effects and mission support for clients in more than 80 countries.
Raytheon recorded sales of $27bn in 2018 and has 67,000 employees.