WASHINGTON — The US Army announced that it fired a Stinger missile from its self-built Multi-Mission Launcher on Wednesday at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
The missile test was part of a demonstration of the service’s new ground-based Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept (IFPC Inc 2-I) system to defeat unmanned aircraft systems, cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars.
IFPC Inc 2-I will also use the Sentinel radar and the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) for its command and control which will reach initial operational capability in fiscal 2019.
Stingers were developed as a man-portable air defense infrared homing surface-to-air missile, but has been “adapted to fire from a wide variety of ground vehicles,” the Army said in a statement released Thursday.
The MML is also able to fire Raytheon's AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles and Lockheed Martin's Longbow Hellfire missiles.
Other types of missiles will be tested at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, as part of an IFPC Inc 2-I engineering demonstration “in the coming weeks,” the Army said.
There are two prototypes of the MML which represent the first development of a major program by the government industrial base in more than 30 years, according to the statement.
The Army spent $119 million to build the prototypes, which includes owning the technical data rights. The cost of developing the system outside of the Army would have been about three times as much, according to information obtained during a tour with the acting Army secretary last week of the Aviation & Missile Research and Engineering Development Command (AMRDEC) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where one of the MMLs was on display.
The IFPC Inc 2-I is a joint effort between AMRDEC and the Army’s Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space’s Cruise Missile Defense Systems (CMDS) project office.
The Army plans to build six more MMLs in the engineering and manufacturing development phase at Letterkenny Army Depot.