Getting greater firepower in the same package is one of the objectives of Raytheon’s Long Range Precision Firepower (LRPF) missile development, for which a risk mitigation contract worth $5.7 million was awarded to the company by the US Army this August.
Intended to replace the current 1980s era Lockheed Martin MGM-140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM), at 269.4 nautical miles (499 kilometres) range the LRPF will have over 60 percent greater reach than the MGM-140 SSM. The LRPF SSM will fire from the current Lockheed Martin M270 MLRS (Multiple-Launch Rocket System) and Lockheed Martin M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). Each rocket pod onboard the M270 and M142 will be able to carry two LRPF SSMs as opposed to a single MGM-140 SSM.
This significantly increases responsiveness and the target engagement lethality of both the M270 and M142: A second missile can be fired immediately without delays of reloading where multiple targets are to be engaged. This would be especially valuable in engaging naval vessels; a new mission being promoted for ground forces.