The new M57A1 Army Tactical Missile System missile is being fired over the cab of an M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launcher. (Photo: U.S. Army file photo)

Field artillery soldiers will soon be ready to test-fire the modernized Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment is undergoing intensive training on the latest versions of software before operational testing.

Due to the upcoming DoD cluster munition ban, the Army has been working to provide an accurate and lethal substitute for the legacy Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) warhead. After several months of developmental testing with a unitary warhead and proximity sensor, ATACMS is ready for soldiers to man the cab of an M270A1 Multiple Launching Rocket System launcher and fire it.

ATACMS will provide the warfighter with precise effects in all weather, day or night, and is capable of engaging targets with deep strike precision.

"Putting Soldiers in the seats of those launchers gives them firsthand experience," said Sgt. 1st Class D.L. Green, a research development test and evaluation NCO with the Fires Test Directorate. "It lets them be party to the development and testing process of their future systems, and it lets them be able to go back to their units and spread the word about what new innovations are coming down the pipe."