WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. -- The U.S. Army successfully fired a Longbow Hellfire missile from its newest launch platform on March 25, 2016 as part of an Engineering Demonstration of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept (IFPC Inc 2-I).
The live fire demonstrated the ability to fire a second interceptor type, having already successfully fired a Stinger missile earlier in the week.
During this live fire, the Longbow Hellfire was successfully launched as commanded by the Engagement Operations Center using track data provided from Sentinel radar. The system features a first-of-its-kind Multi-Mission Launcher (MML), which is designed to fire a variety of different interceptor missiles, depending on the threat.
The Longbow Hellfire missile, although originally designed as an air-to-ground tank-killing missile, has recently shown success in destroying Unmanned Aircraft Systems targets. A variety of other missiles will also be tested as part of the Engineering Demonstration at White Sands Missile Range.
The 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 (IBCS) 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 0-90 degrees. It consists of 15 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.
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 (CMDS) Project Office and the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC). 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. This is the first development of a major acquisition program by the government organic industrial base in more than 30 years.