Small Missile Systems From the Army

After three decades without a significant air threat, the Army has realized they might actually need a surface to air weapon. As a result they have embarked on a program to provide Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) against cruise missiles as well as manned aircraft. In addition they want to provide protection from rockets, artillery, and mortars (RAM) and Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), hopefully in the same launcher. The program of record is called Integrated Fire Protection Capability.

They have already built a launcher in house.

Multi-Mission Launcher (MML) firing
(IFPC, “Indirect Fire Protection Capability”) Launching Hellfire missile

This Multi-Mission Launcher somewhat emulates the Mk41 VLS, in that it is intended to launch several different missiles for different purposes. It has launched AIM-9 Sidewinder (repurposed as an surface to air missile) , the Tamir (interceptor for the Israeli Iron Dome system), the Lockheed Miniature Hit to Kill (MHTK) Missile, an Army developed missile, and the Hellfire.

The Miniature Hit to Kill (MHTK) missile designed to counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (RAM) threats as well as some unmanned aircraft might be use against projectiles fired at a cutter or an asset we are protecting. Cost is only about $16K per round.

“The missile is 27 inches long, two inches in diameter (actually only 40mm or 1.6″–Chuck) and weighs 5 pounds “at launch,” he added. The semi-active missile has no warhead, using kinetic energy — or thrust — instead to take out a target. “It’s really a bullet hitting a bullet,” which is the bread and butter capability in Lockheed’s missile technology. One launcher can fit 36 of the missiles, Delgado said, and two launchers can fit onto a single truck.”

As a very small system, MKTK can be quad-packed. Photo: Defense-Update

The Navy is apparently showing some interest in this program. Since the Army developed multi-mission launcher is not a vertical launch system I presume it has to be pointed. This is somewhat complicates installation, but I can’t help but believe something, launcher or interceptors, will come out of this program that may be of interest to the Coast Guard in the future.

Late Addition:


Photo: Multipurpose remote weapon station chosen for the Striker Short Range Air Defense System.  Moog Reconfigurable Integrated-Weapons Platform (RiwP) turret:: 4 Stinger missiles on one side, two Hellfires on the other, with a 30 mm autocannon and coaxial 7.62 mm machinegun in between (Leonardo DRS)

15 thoughts on “Small Missile Systems From the Army

    • The Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative (AI3) is one of the missiles. From what I have seen, the AI3 is a remanufactured Sidewinder with a semi-active FR seeker replacing the IR seeker normally used on Sidewinders. That would allow it to go after relatively cool RAM targets like artillery shells and probably bombs.

  1. I wondered when the Army would get on this. In spite of its claimed successes, there are serious disadvantages to “CIWS Ashore.”

    • The US Army already is! The US Army have modified AN/TWQ-1 “Avengers” using Raytheon AI3 Interceptors instead of “Stinger” Missiles mounted on the back of a Humvee. Future applications include a Stryker MSL…

      • That also “Hold True” with the US Navy’s conversions of Littoral Combat Ships with AN/AGM-114L “Longbow Hellfire” missiles…

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