U.S. Army Selects Lockheed Martin to Build New Mid-Range Missile System

Lockheed Martin was awarded an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement by the U.S. Army to build new mid-range missile system under the Mid-Range Capability (MRC) program.

The agreement (W50RAJ-2-19-0001), with a ceiling of around $339 million, was awarded by the U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO).

The contract work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland; Akron, Ohio; Clearwater, Florida; Moorestown, New Jersey; Owego, New York; Syracuse, New York; and Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2023.

Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin will build the new mid-range missile system for the Army which will be integrated with Raytheon-built Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) anti-air missiles, which also has a surface mode, and Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles (TLAM).

SM-6, or RIM-174 Standard Extended Range Active Missile (ERAM), is in current production for the U.S. Navy and is the only missile that supports anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense (BMD) in one solution. The SM-6 supersonic missile hit its first surface target in 2016, which supported the Navy’s concept of distributed lethality, or the ability to strike from any ship or location.

Raytheon SM-6 missile
The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) launches a Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) to destroy a supersonic high altitude target drone in live fire tests June 18-20, 2014. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Tomahawk is a long-range subsonic cruise missile that currently launches from ships and submarines, but with proven land-based capability, and can strike targets precisely from 1,000 miles away, even in heavily defended airspace. The latest Block Va variant has the capability to strike moving targets at sea while the Block Vb variant, with a joint multi-effects warhead, can hit more diverse land targets.

DOD Conducts Ground-launched Cruise Missile Test
Flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile, based on Tomahawk missile, at San Nicolas Island, Calif on Aug. 18, 2019. Photo by Scott Howe, U.S. DoD.

The MRC missile system prototype, that will be developed by Lockheed Martin, will consist of launchers, missiles and a battery operations center.

The new missile will have an operational range of 500 to 1,500 kilometers, or 310 to 930 miles, and will fill a gap in the Army’s precision fires portfolio with the 500 km-range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) on one side and a long-range cannon system, called Strategic Long-Range Cannon (SLRC), and a hypersonic weapon, the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), on other side.

The new mid-range missile system is expected to be fielded by fiscal 2023. According to Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, director of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team (LRPF CFT), this new surface-to-surface launch capability could prove beneficial if positioned in strategic areas such as the Pacific island chains.

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