News | July 28, 2021

US and Australian Defense Departments to partner on precision fires

By Cathy Vandermaarel Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation

Representatives from the United States and Australia have agreed to partner on the development of precision fires capabilities through a bilateral agreement that will foster interoperability and modernization for both militaries.
 

Maj. Gen. Simon Stuart, Head of Land Capability for the Australian Army; and Elizabeth Wilson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation, signed the memorandum of understanding for the partnership in developing the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) Increment 2.

“This agreement formalizes one of our largest cooperative acquisition programs we’ve entered into with a partner nation. It lays the foundation for collaboration on future missile capability efforts,” Wilson said. “Our cooperation with Australia on the PrSM compliments the U.S. presence in the INDOPACOM area of responsibility, reinforces our dedication to allies in the Indo-Pacific and sets a path forward for U.S. Army Long Range Precision Fires in the region.”

While the U.S. will remain the lead on the PrSM program, the Australian military is providing $54 million (USD) to advance the project to meet the long-range precision fires capability requirements of both countries’ warfighters.

The initial eight-year agreement, implemented April 6 at U.S. Army Program Executive Office Missiles and Space at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, will be overseen by the Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles (STORM) Project Office. STORM will conduct regular technical interchange meetings with Australia, conferring on the design, development and testing efforts for the PrSM Increment 2, and planning for follow-on efforts toward the cooperative production, sustainment, and incremental development of future PrSM and associated systems and technologies.

“Participation in the Precision Strike Missile co-development program is an important foundational initiative and a key aspect of Australia’s Defence Strategic Update 2020,” Stuart said.

This PrSM cooperative program began via discussions between the DASA (DE&C) team and its Australian counterparts. during Senior Cooperation Forum - Army meetings. Since both countries were looking to modernize their long-range precision fires capabilities, common requirements were identified and PrSM was acknowledged as the program to best meet those requirements.

Col. Guy Yelverton III, STORM project manager at PEO MS, will serve as the U.S. representative to the PrSM Cooperative Program. The Australian project manager for PrSM will reside within the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group based in Melbourne.  


BACKGROUND: The Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) will be a surface-to-surface, all weather, precision-strike guided missile fired from the M270A2 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The baseline missile (Increment 1), being developed and fielded to engage a wide variety of targets at ranges greater than 400 kilometers, will focus on imprecisely located area and point targets. Primary emphasis for follow-on increments will be on increased range, lethality and engagement of time-sensitive, moving, hardened and fleeting targets.

The PrSM will destroy/neutralize/suppress targets using missile-delivered indirect precision fires. PrSM provides field artillery units with long-range and deep-strike capability while supporting brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, joint/coalition forces and Marine Air-Ground Task Forces in full, limited or expeditionary operations. PrSM will replace aging Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS).