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Pentagon budget 2023: USMC details plans to field three MRIC batteries

A USMC G/ATOR radar. In 2019 the USMC conducted a live-fire event to demonstrate initial ‘interoperability' of an Iron Dome launcher and Tamir interceptor with the G/ATOR and a CAC2S. The service is now testing out this Medium Range Intercept Capability prototype with plans to begin fielding it in 2026. (USMC)

US Marine Corps (USMC) leadership wants to spend USD1.2 billion on ground-based air defence (GBAD) systems during the next five years, with plans to begin fielding a new mobile capability to the force in 2026 that is centred around significant Iron Dome components.

The Pentagon and services have staggered the release of fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request documents and the USMC published justification books that provide an initial five-year road map for the acquisition and fielding of a host of air defence capabilities.

More specifically, the service is requesting USD174 million for GBAD procurement programmes in FY 2023, and has outlined plans to request USD196 million for FY 2024, USD194 million for FY2025, USD264 million for FY 2026 and USD393 million for FY 2027.

Included in this FY 2023 pot is at least USD17 million for the future Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) – a prototype designed to shoot-down aerial targets including cruise missiles. These amounts will be used to buy the components and missiles required to support the programme, and associated logistics.

“These components and missiles are required to defend against subsonic/supersonic cruise missiles, as well as [unmanned aerial systems] UAS and other aerial threats,” according to budget justification documents.

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