Raytheon Missile Systems has been selected by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to execute the next phase of the Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System (MAD-FIRES) programme.
Designed to improve ship survivability in high threat environments, the MAD-FIRES programme is, according to DARPA's Tactical Technology Office, intended to mature technologies "associated with a medium-calibre [30-57 mm] guided projectile that would combine the guidance, precision, and accuracy generally afforded by missiles with the speed, rapid-fire capability, and large ammunition capacity afforded by bullets".
DARPA's premise is that current close-range gun systems would significantly benefit from an ability to rapidly and accurately engage multiple, diverse targets approaching from different axes.
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