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U.S. Army Successfully Fires AIM-9X Missile from New Interceptor Launch Platform

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., April 1, 2016 – The U.S. Army successfully fired an AIM-9X missile from its newest launch platform March 29. The missile successfully engaged an Unmanned Aircraft System target as part of an engineering demonstration of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept.

The live fire demonstrated the ability to fire the system’s baseline interceptor and engage a target from its new Multi-Mission Launcher. The launcher also successfully fired Stinger and Longbow Hellfire missiles earlier in the demonstration. The system’s first-of-its-kind MML is designed to fire a variety of different interceptor missiles, depending on the threat.

The AIM-9X missile, although originally designed as an air-to-air missile has recently been adopted to a ground-to-air role due to its unique capabilities. A variety of other missiles will also be tested as part of the ongoing engineering demonstration at White Sands Missile Range.

Photo: US Army
Photo: US Army

The IFPC Inc 2-I system is a mobile ground-based weapon system designed to defeat unmanned aircraft systems, cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars.

In addition to the MML, the IFPC Inc 2-I System will use the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System for its command and control, a Sentinel radar and existing interceptors to provide 360-degree protection with the ability to engage simultaneous threats arriving from different azimuths.

The MML is mounted on a medium tactical vehicle. The launcher can rotate 360 degrees and elevate from 0 to 90 degrees. It consists of fifteen tubes, each of which can hold either a single large interceptor or multiple smaller interceptors.

Developed using an open systems architecture, the launcher will interface to the IBCS Engagement Operations Center to support and coordinate target engagements.

The test is part of an ongoing set of tests at WSMR. An Army Test and Evaluation Command test range, WSMR provided a safe and controlled environment for the test, ensuring clear airspace and tracking both the target and interceptor. WSMR has decades of experience with air and missile defense systems, and is fully equipped with the telemetry and data collection systems and services needed for a test of this type.

The IFPC Program has seen testing on WSMR in previous years as the system was developed, and is expected to continue testing on WSMR as the project moves forward. IFPC Inc 2-I is a joint collaborative effort between the Army’s Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space’s Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office and the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The joint CMDS/AMRDEC team brought together more than 150 subject matter experts from across the AMRDEC enterprise with representatives from six directorates and more than 20 functional areas to design, manufacture, procure, assemble and test the U.S. Army’s newest Air Defense launcher.

The MML Product Team leveraged more than 85 industry partners to assist in design and manufacturing. AMRDEC will provide additional MMLs through the Engineering and Manufacturing Development acquisition phase, six of which will be assembled by Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania.

This is the first development of a major acquisition program by the government organic industrial base in more than 30 years.

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