The US Marine Corps has successfully tested its medium-range intercept capability (MRIC) prototype to counter cruise missiles.
According to the service’s Program Executive Officer (PEO) Land System, the prototype hit simulated cruise missiles launched simultaneously at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The MRIC’s ground/air task-oriented radar tracked each target immediately, allowing the prototype to neutralize multiple missiles from various angles.
“This demonstration proves that we do now have a relevant capability,” PEO Land Systems program manager Don Kelley said after the test.
In addition to testing the overall capability of the MRIC, testers sought to validate the primary subsystems integrated into the prototype.
Maintaining ‘Expeditionary’ Capability
MRIC team lead Maj. James Slocum explained that the move to develop a counter-cruise missile capability aims to fill the air missile defense gap in the US Marine Corps.
He further stated that the service and the defense department have been living with the comfort of air superiority and air supremacy – something it cannot take for granted due to the development of more powerful cruise missiles.
“Our goal was to get this prototype into a deployable state that meets our current needs, but have it so other systems can be ‘plugged in’ to it to make it more lethal while maintaining expeditionary capability, mobility, and the ability to rapidly set up and be operational at any site, anytime,” Slocum said.
The MRIC will undertake another live-fire test involving a more sophisticated threat later this year.