WASHINGTON — The US Army's self-built Multi-Mission Launcher successfully defeated a cruise missile target and an unmanned aircraft system using an AIM-9X missile at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the service announced Thursday.
The test against the cruise missile was conducted on April 1 and the test against the UAS occurred on March 29 as part of an engineering demonstration of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept (IFPC Inc 2-I).
The IFPC Inc. 2-I is intended to defeat UAS, cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars.
The Army also fired a Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) missile from the MML on April 4.The MHTK has no warhead but defeats rockets, artillery and mortars with kinetic energy in a direct hit, the service said in a statement.
The MML is being developed internal to the Army and represents the first development of a major program by the government industrial base in more than 30 years, the service has said.
The launcher is also able to fire Raytheon's Stinger missiles and Lockheed Martin's Longbow Hellfire missiles, but other missiles will be tested to prove its flexibility.
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 month 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.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College.