Marines set to purchase missile intercept capability that uses Iron Dome technology

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A Tamir missile is launched during a test in New Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Raphael.)

WASHINGTON: After three successful hits at a New Mexico test site last month, the nation’s second-senior Marine Corps officer said he was ready to invest in the service’s medium-range intercept capability, a technology that will “complement the toolkits” of Commanders of the Marine Littoral Regiment.

“We just proved it and tested it. And now we’re going to start getting this system. It’s been in the works for a while. And I would note that we withheld funding for this for almost two years until you could prove it,” Gen. Eric Smith, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC), told a conference of hurry. an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the US Naval Institute.

The public nod from senior service brass such as Smith is important in the world of military technology testing where good testing doesn’t always translate to future funding. This is where support from Pentagon leadership comes in, especially in the form of figures such as the deputy commander who served as the senior Marine Corps requirements officer before becoming ACMC.

The Prototype Medium-Range Interceptor Capability (MRIC), which successfully shot down three drones acting as cruise missiles during a demonstration at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in late June, has multiple subsystems . They include Task Oriented Ground/Air Radar and the Common Aviation Command and Control System. It also incorporates the ground-based launcher and Tamir interceptor missiles used by Israel’s Iron Dome.

“We needed a longer range air defense capability to be able to cover these highly mobile units,” Smith said, referring to the Marine Littoral Regiments. “We asked for a mean solution to a mean problem. Great mobility, lightness and much longer range. And the MRIC provided it to us.

He added that the service had planned to conduct four shots during the test event in June, but one of the drones used as the target broke down.

Major James Slocum, an officer leading the MRIC program, said the integration of MRIC with several other known technologies, such as the G/ATOR radar, was an intentional choice the service made in order to rapidly develop the capacity, according to a released statement. shortly after the test event.

The Marine Corps has an additional live-fire test planned later this year before service chiefs make decisions on future funding, the statement added.

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