As Ukraine waits for ATACMS supply decision, US is working on alternatives
Amid ongoing negotiations for ATACMS missile transfers to Ukraine, Lockheed Martin is making strides with the Extended-Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) and Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), offering potential alternatives
Defense Express writes about this.
The fate of ATACMS missiles for Ukraine has been in negotiations for over a year, with signs of progress. The final decision rests with US President Joe Biden.
Lockheed Martin is testing missiles for HIMARS
Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin is testing Extended-Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) missiles for HIMARS. These missiles have a range of 150 km, nearly double the older version, achieved through new fuel and missile modifications.
Lockheed Martin recently conducted successful tests using the Stockpile to Target Sequence method, a high-level test replicating real-world conditions. Production is set to start soon.
Poland has already ordered ER GMLRS missiles, showing export potential. Ukraine could also consider them under the USAI program.
Alternative for ATACMS
Lockheed Martin is also developing the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) as an ATACMS replacement, with a range of 500 km and plans for 650 km. The project could influence Ukraine's ATACMS supply, as it offers an alternative.
While PrSM export approval is uncertain, its development impacts ATACMS decisions. This development could shape Ukraine's missile future.
On September 9, it was reported that the United States may provide missiles to Ukraine in the next aid package.
On September 12, media reported that the Biden administration was close to approving the supply of longer-range missiles to Ukraine, which are immediately equipped with cluster munitions.
On September 15, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine is close to receiving ATACMS missiles from the United States this fall.