REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Aug. 31, 2015) -- The Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center will transfer the first prototype of the Multi-Mission Launcher to Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space at a ceremony Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. at the Arsenal.

AMRDEC brought together a team of 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.

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

The MML program is part of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept U.S. Army program. IFPC Inc 2-I system is a mobile ground-based weapon system designed to defeat unmanned aircraft systems, cruise missiles, and 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 as the command and control unit, Sentinel radar system, 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 truck. The launcher can rotate 360 degrees and elevate from 0-90 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 via radio. The truck will also pull a trailer that has a missile data link to communicate to interceptors in-flight, and an Army standard 60 kW generator to power the system while emplaced.

In 2012, the IFPC Inc 2-I Product Office came to the AMRDEC to conduct an engineering feasibility study to support an Analysis of Alternatives excursion for a Multi-Role, Common Launcher. A white paper published in April 2012 concluded that such a launcher was feasible from an engineering standpoint. The launcher groundwork continued with conduct of a deeper dive into key performance goals and performance trade studies leading to a Conceptual Design in October 2012. The Conceptual Design leveraged the M1157 Dump Truck, an existing member of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, and a M1095 five-ton trailer. The FMTV frame reinforcements, cradle and azimuth geared bearing were leveraged from the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System along with significant hardware and software architecture experience from AMRDEC engineers.

In March 2014 IFPC Inc 2-I received an Acquisition Decision Memorandum approval to proceed with the AMRDEC development and demonstration of two prototype launchers for the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction acquisition phase.

At the Sept. 3 ceremony, AMRDEC will deliver the first of two prototype MMLs in 18 months, on schedule and on budget. The second MML will be delivered on schedule on Oct. 22, 2015. The launchers will demonstrate a Technology Readiness Level 6 at the Engineering Demonstration to be held at White Sands Missile Range in March 2016. AMRDEC will provide eight additional MMLs through the Engineering and Manufacturing Development acquisition phase, six of which will be assembled by Letterkenny Army Depot.

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AMRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers. AMRDEC employs nearly 11,000 civilian scientists, researchers, and engineers.

RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.

The PEO Missiles and Space provides centralized management for all Army air and missile defense and tactical missile programs as well as selected Army Space programs. The PEO is responsible for the full life-cycle management of assigned programs.