Raytheon Company has completed the testing of an advanced warhead for the new DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile.

The latest test moves the weapon closer to its first flight test planned for later this year.

Raytheon noted that the DeepStrike missile is its offering for the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) programme, which will replace the army tactical missile system.

Designed in the 1970s, the missile system is close to the end of its service life.

As part of the arena test, the national technical systems testing facility experts detonated the warhead inside a controlled environment to determine if it exceeds the performance requirements of the army based on the mass and distribution of fragments.

Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice-president Dr Thomas Bussing said: “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.

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“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.”

The company’s long-range precision strike DeepStrike missile features a two-in-the-pod design and other advancements.

“This test shows how quickly we are moving to deliver this much-needed capability to ground troops.”

It can fly farther, faster, cover more range and double the firepower, in addition to being manoeuvrable.

Furthermore, it has a modular, open architecture that simplifies system upgrades.

Raytheon added that its DeepStrike missile will defeat fixed land targets 60km-499km away. It also improves responsiveness and restores the army’s capability to overmatch an adversary on the battlefield.

Last month, Raytheon completed a critical static test of the DeepStrike missile rocket motor. With the completion of the trial, the maiden flight test of the surface-to-surface weapon is expected to be conducted later this year.