REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (November 6, 2020) – The U.S. Army awarded a prototype Other Transaction (OT) agreement to advance its development and delivery of a ground-launched, mid-range fires capability that will enable the United States to deter, and if necessary, defeat near-peer competitors.
The Mid-Range Capability (MRC), part of the Army’s number one modernization priority of Long-Range Precision Fires, will be designed to hit targets in the range between the Precision Strike Missile and the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon. The MRC prototype, consisting of launchers, missiles, and a battery operations center (BOC), will be fielded to an operational battery in Fiscal Year 2023.
The MRC addresses a need identified in the Army’s Fiscal Year 2020 Strategic Fires Study in coordination with Combatant Commanders in key theaters. The Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) will develop and deliver the prototype MRC.
“Adapting existing systems as much as possible will allow us to move faster than traditional acquisition methods to get this capability into the hands of Soldiers in support of the National Defense Strategy,” said LTG L. Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, who leads the RCCTO. “Soldier feedback and touchpoints will be embedded throughout the prototyping effort in order to make this system operationally effective the day it is delivered.”
On November 6, 2020, the Army awarded the prototype OT agreement on a sole source basis to Lockheed Martin in the amount of $339.3 million, inclusive of options. Under this agreement, Lockheed Martin will design, build, integrate, test, evaluate, document, deliver, and support the MRC prototype battery capability.
In order to accelerate fielding to meet the FY23 timeline, the MRC prototype will utilize and modify existing hardware and software from the Army and joint service partners, and integrate additional technologies to achieve new operational effects. Following a broad review of joint service technologies potentially applicable to MRC, the Army has selected variants of the Navy SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles to be part of the initial prototype. The Army will leverage Navy contract vehicles for missile procurement in support of the Army integration OT agreement.
The MRC will complement other critical systems in the Army’s long range fires portfolio, providing a combined operational and strategic capability that can attack specific threat vulnerabilities in order to penetrate, disintegrate and exploit targets in deep maneuver areas critical to the joint fight.
The capability also allows the Army and joint services to synchronize and leverage modernization efforts and investments across mid-range missile programs in support of multi-domain operations. The MRC supports one of the Army’s chief roles in multi-domain operations: to use strategic fires to penetrate and disintegrate enemy layered defense systems, creating windows of opportunity for exploitation by the joint force.