Military Review

PrSM instead of CD-ATACMS. New plans for US missile rearmament

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ATACMS rocket launch


Over the past several years, work has been carried out in the United States to modernize the existing ATACMS operational-tactical missile in order to create a new multi-purpose missile system. The project regularly faced various problems, which determined its fate. FY2021 Defense Budget does not provide funding for this project - and work on it is terminated in favor of other projects.

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The ATACMS OTRK modernization project in order to create a multipurpose CD-ATACMS (Cross-Domain Army Tactical Missile System) was launched in 2016. With its help it was planned to fill an empty niche in a promising missile weapons system, as well as to save on development and production.

At the beginning of September this year, there were reports in the specialized foreign media about difficulties in the development of CD-ATACMS. The project faced unnamed issues that led to the decision to suspend work. The nature of the problems and the possible timing of the resumption of development were not specified for reasons of secrecy.

It is now clear that the project will not be resumed or relaunched. A few days ago, the details of the US defense budget for the next FY2021 became known. This document does not envisage spending on further work on CD-ATACMS. Earlier, the Pentagon demanded $ 62,5 million in a budget request for this project - but Congress refused. At the same time, the budget provides for additional spending on other missile systems projects.

Initial plans


The basic ground-based missile system ATACMS uses ballistic missiles MGM-140, MGM-164 and MGM-168. Its mission is to defeat point and area targets with known coordinates at ranges up to 300 km using monoblock and cluster warheads. The missiles are used with standard MLRS M270 and M142 launchers.

PrSM instead of CD-ATACMS. New plans for US missile rearmament
Tests of a promising PrSM rocket, December 2019

In the mid-tenths, American lawmakers demanded the creation of a new coastal missile system capable of protecting the US coast from enemy ships. The Pentagon did not agree with such a proposal for some time, but in 2016 it ceded and launched a new project called CD-ATACMS.

To speed up and simplify the development of this project, it was proposed to carry out only using serial components. It was envisaged to rebuild the existing ATACMS OTRK with the modernization of ground facilities and the processing of the rocket for new requirements and tasks.

The MGM-164/168 missile was proposed to be updated by installing a seeker and a new autopilot. Several variants of the GOS were considered, capable of providing search and tracking of mobile ground or surface objects. In addition, an appropriate update of the equipment on board the launcher was required, as well as communication and control facilities - for receiving and processing target designation.

The proposed appearance of the CD-ATACMS missile made it possible to fulfill the requirements of the Congress to create a new anti-ship coastal complex. In addition, it could be used in the ground forces to replace the serial ATACMS. Thus, in the course of the "usual" modernization of the serial sample, it would be possible to create a multipurpose system with broad capabilities to combat the army and fleet the adversary.

The successful completion of the CD-ATACMS project could have interesting organizational implications. To operate the new missile system, the army would have to create new coastal defense units. Similar units existed in the past, but were disbanded in the middle of the last century.

Best replacement


Work on the CD-ATACMS topic started back in 2016, but has not yet yielded the desired results. The development of a new rocket faced certain difficulties, because of which it had to be suspended indefinitely. As it now turns out, the work will not be resumed due to lack of funding in the new defense budget.


The launch of the anti-ship PrSM will look similar.

However, the US ground forces do not risk being left without a new multipurpose missile system. Back in the summer, Pentagon representatives talked about the need to develop a new medium-range anti-ship missile system capable of hitting targets in the range from 500 to 2000 km. It must be created in the shortest possible time - together with other promising models, it should go into service in 2023.

In the draft military budget, the Pentagon provided for substantial spending on the development of medium-range missiles. In the approved version of the budget, Congress provided an additional $ 88 million for similar projects. It is expected that this will allow faster development of a new multipurpose complex and fully compensate for the closure of the CD-ATACMS project.

It is reported that a new missile for attacking moving targets will be based on the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) project. Its original version has been under development since 2016 as a replacement for the outdated ATACMS OTRK. Due to new materials and technologies, it is planned to obtain a firing range of at least 500 km. In addition, it will be possible to reduce the dimensions of the rocket in comparison with the MGM-140/164/168 and increase the ammunition load of the standard launcher. The PrSM project has already been brought to flight tests and shows good results.

The initial version of the PrSM product should be equipped with guidance based on satellite or inertial navigation. There is also a fundamental possibility of creating a modification of such a missile with a seeker of one type or another. In accordance with the latest decisions, this potential of the project will be used in the development of a multipurpose missile. The possibility of creating a multispectral GOS with wide capabilities is being considered.

Multipurpose future


A number of promising missile weapons projects are being created as part of the large Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) program. It is planned to be completed in 2023 by the adoption of a number of complexes with different capabilities. However, as it is now becoming clear, such plans will not be fully implemented.


PrSM in flight

Along with other samples, in 2023 the OTRK CD-ATACMS was supposed to get into the army. However, the project ran into difficulties that could lead to a failure to meet the deadline. Now its development is canceled, and in 2023 the army will receive one less sample. A modification of the PrSM medium-range missile for firing at moving targets will be ready for adoption only in 2025.

The modernization of the complex is planned for the second half of the decade. The base and anti-ship versions of PrSM will receive a new engine, which will increase the firing range. The missile design is said to have the potential to achieve a range of up to 600-800 km.

Ambiguous Present


Thus, the development of promising missile weapons for the American army faced unnamed problems and found itself in a specific position. One of the promising projects on which great hopes were pinned was not completed - the work will not be completed on time and will not receive the desired savings.

Instead of the unsuccessful CD-ATACMS, a completely new project is proposed. However, this will take time, and in 2023 the army will not receive all the desired missile systems. Provided there are no new delays, the new PrSM version will not enter the army until two years after that.

The Pentagon has to adjust its plans for the development of missile weapons for the ground forces. Most likely, the LRPF program will be implemented as a whole, albeit with noticeable changes. However, the issues of timing and cost of new projects remain relevant. Time will tell whether you will be able to meet the schedule and meet the estimated estimate.
Author:
Photos used:
US Army, Lockheed Martin
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 5 January 2021 07: 27
    0
    So far, only the Chinese have ballistic anti-ship missiles, from their words, of course.
    There is also a fundamental possibility of creating a modification of such a missile with a seeker of one type or another.

    Those. there is no homing yet.
  2. times
    times 5 January 2021 10: 05
    +13
    The United States can use such weapons only from foreign territory, with their own unnecessary - they will not fight with Mexico and Canada. Remains based on the territory of the allies in Europe and the APR.
  3. SovAr238A
    SovAr238A 5 January 2021 11: 54
    +7
    In the mid-tenths, American lawmakers demanded the creation of a new coastal missile system capable of protecting the US coast from enemy ships.


    It seems to me that the author of the article took one preliminary project - and voiced it as the only option ...

    In fact, the Coastal Complex was needed only for the US ILC.
    There was a tender from them.
    Reytheon from Kongsberg won the tender.
    And therefore the NSM will be the main missile of the USMC.
    The latest versions of which are already able not only for ships, but also for ground targets.
    And now it is being finalized for Himars PU universal blocks.
    1. Avior
      Avior 5 January 2021 20: 54
      +1
      In principle, most anti-ship missiles can also shoot at ground targets.
      Only their capabilities in this are limited, with the selection of ground targets from anti-ship missiles with radar seeker, and this is still a typical seeker for anti-ship missiles, problems
      But LRASM and NSM in this respect are not at all typical anti-ship missiles, they have full-fledged attack capabilities, including ground targets
  4. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 5 January 2021 16: 39
    -1
    The tasks are:
    1) Create medium-range ballistic missiles instead of operational-tactical ballistic missiles
    2) Instead of strikes against stationary targets - strikes against moving targets.

    The first task is not very difficult: the body is made of plastic, the warhead is smaller, the engine is more powerful.
    The second task is very difficult. You could say revolutionary.
    How to aim a BR in flight at a moving target, everyone is puzzled over this.
  5. Old26
    Old26 5 January 2021 16: 52
    +1
    Quote: Vladimir_2U
    Cross-Domain Army Tactical Missile System

    In fact, there are also Iranians. But those have a range of about 300-400 km
  6. Old26
    Old26 5 January 2021 17: 51
    +4
    Quote: voyaka uh
    How to aim a BR in flight at a moving target, everyone is puzzled over this.

    There is a solution. Have a radar on the rocket. True, the Chinese have not yet been able to bring their radar to the desired level. The Americans have more potential. And they can use the groundwork for Pershing-2 ...
    1. Avior
      Avior 5 January 2021 20: 49
      +1
      Pershing, as far as I remember, did not aim at a moving target
      However, I may be wrong.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 5 January 2021 22: 06
        -1
        Only on a motionless one. And at the terminal site it
        had to be overhauled with aerodynamic
        "brakes" so that its radar can function.
        1. Avior
          Avior 6 January 2021 00: 00
          0
          In principle, with today's capabilities, the radar will be able to operate up to 4.5M and against moving targets
          The main thing is that the rocket has time to deviate at a sufficiently large angle, otherwise you will have to aim very accurately and have the most recent target data
    2. nobody75
      nobody75 5 January 2021 22: 07
      0
      How can a ballistic missile radar help you?
      He only works in space and can ...
      Sincerely
  7. Vlad_20
    Vlad_20 5 January 2021 20: 50
    0
    Some kind of wretched rocket. All in hatches and rivets. Iskander has no hatches
  8. nobody75
    nobody75 5 January 2021 22: 03
    -1
    The modernization of the complex is planned for the second half of the decade. The base and anti-ship versions of PrSM will receive a new engine, which will increase the firing range

    I think there will be a "throttle" solid propellant with zero thrust. And a glider as a warhead. While the engine will be tested. As a child, I read about the project of an engine with solid fuel and liquid oxidizer ... It would be for this rocket.
    Sincerely
  9. Old26
    Old26 5 January 2021 23: 12
    +1
    Quote: Avior
    Pershing, as far as I remember, did not aim at a moving target
    However, I may be wrong.

    Not guided. But the use of radar made it possible to reduce the CEP. And do not forget that almost 50 years have passed since their creation. Guidance systems have become more accurate
    Therefore, most likely they will try to use this method for long-range APCs, such as the Chinese ones with a range of 1500-4000 km. The Chinese did not succeed in achieving the required parameters, the United States may succeed (or maybe not, HZ)

    Quote: nobody75
    How can a ballistic missile radar help you?
    He only works in space and can ...
    Sincerely

    Well, on the same Pershing, a similar device did not work in space ...

    Quote: Vlad_20
    Some kind of wretched rocket. All in hatches and rivets. Iskander has no hatches

    Of course miserable. She's American, and they can't do anything. Our Iskander is another matter. There are no hatches (though only you probably know how to connect to the connectors) ...

    Quote: nobody75
    The modernization of the complex is planned for the second half of the decade. The base and anti-ship versions of PrSM will receive a new engine, which will increase the firing range

    I think there will be a "throttle" solid propellant with zero thrust. And a glider as a warhead. While the engine will be tested. As a child, I read about the project of an engine with solid fuel and liquid oxidizer ... It would be for this rocket.
    Sincerely

    It is very difficult to throttle a solid fuel engine. In this regard, liquid is more profitable. But to say that you can't choke at all is also impossible. Within narrow limits (maximum percentages), it is probably possible.
    Zeroing the thrust of solid propellants is achieved very simply. In the steps, windows are "cut through" by the explosion and the thrust drops to zero.
    And the engine you read about is called the HYBRID rocket engine. It has advantages and disadvantages compared to liquid-propellant and solid-propellant rocket engines. As well as everything ... "The Golden Rule". If we win in one, we lose in the other
    1. Avior
      Avior 5 January 2021 23: 56
      0
      Not guided. But the use of radar made it possible to reduce the CEP. And do not forget that almost 50 years have passed since their creation. Guidance systems have become more accurate

      A synthetic aperture radar station operated at Pershing in mapping mode. Due to the resulting radar image, a very high pointing accuracy was obtained. In principle, now it can work on moving targets, why not.
      But Pershing also slowed down to supersonic speed so that the radar would work normally. In addition, this allowed to deviate at rather large angles - this is one of the problems of ballistic missiles with their high speeds
    2. D16
      D16 6 January 2021 17: 33
      0
      It is very difficult to throttle a solid fuel engine. In this regard, liquid is more profitable. But to say that you can't choke at all is also impossible. Within narrow limits (maximum percentages), it is probably possible.
      Zeroing the thrust of solid propellants is achieved very simply. In the steps, windows are "cut through" by the explosion and the thrust drops to zero.

      How about triple engaging or 1:20 throttling?
      http://engine.aviaport.ru/issues/33/page37.html
      Read the article, you will discover a lot of new things.laughing
    3. D16
      D16 6 January 2021 17: 36
      0
      The Chinese failed to achieve the desired parameters

      Did Comrade Xi reveal this to you in a private conversation?
  10. Old26
    Old26 6 January 2021 00: 34
    +3
    Quote: Avior
    But Pershing also slowed down to supersonic speed so that the radar would work normally. In addition, this allowed to deviate at rather large angles - this is one of the problems of ballistic missiles with their high speeds

    Well, our same "Iskander" is slowed down to a speed of 2-2,5M before hitting the target. What can you do, you have to sacrifice something
    1. D16
      D16 6 January 2021 17: 06
      0
      Well, our same "Iskander" is slowed down to a speed of 2-2,5M before hitting the target.

      What is this statement based on? It became really curious. Do not torment, share the source of revelations laughing .
  11. Old26
    Old26 6 January 2021 18: 43
    +2
    Quote: D16
    What is this statement based on? It became really curious. Do not torment, share the source of revelations

    Sorry, Ilya, is it so difficult to find information on Iskander yourself? Offhand, more or less performance characteristics for him (for a rocket and a complex) are described on the resource http://militaryrussia.ru.
    Or do you think that having reached the maximum flight speed at the end of the active section of 2100 m / s (which is about 6,4M at an altitude of 50 km - the speed is hypersonic), it begins to dive and at the same time increases its speed - that is very vain. At the target, the Iskander's speed reaches - 700-800 m / s (2,1-2,4M).
  12. Old26
    Old26 6 January 2021 20: 03
    0
    Quote: D16
    How about triple engaging or 1:20 throttling?
    http://engine.aviaport.ru/issues/33/page37.html
    Read the article, you will discover a lot of new things

    I saw nothing new there. The theoretical possibilities of creating a reusable solid propellant rocket motor and the possibility of throttling are presented. And if the first option (reusability of inclusion) can be achieved by creating two or three-section engines. Moreover, of small size and low thrust (see the diameters of these engines indicated in the article). Check engine parameters. Motor with a diameter of 135 mm, maximum 375 mm. Which long-range missile has such engine parameters? These are the engines of maximum rockets or air-to-air missiles.
    Further. Throttling on solid-propellant missiles is very difficult to achieve, unlike liquid-propellant ones (for the Americans, for example, liquid-propellant RS-25, throttling was possible in the range from 67 to 109%). For solid propellants, this is both technically and constructively more difficult to do.
    And further. If you had read the article carefully, you would have seen that at 1:20 it was not about the throttling of the solid propellant rocket, but about the relation between the starting and sustaining thrust