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US Marine Corps ‘successfully' tests mobile Iron Dome launcher, awaiting fielding decision

Shown here is 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 has now completed a series of live-fire tests with the MRIC prototype, and leadership is expected to make a ‘certification' decision about deploying the weapon system. (US Marine Corps )

The US Marine Corps (USMC) recently completed a trio of live-fire tests with its new cruise missile defence prototype that integrates Iron Dome components with other US air-defence assets. This final test of the Medium-Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) “demonstrated and proved” that the weapon system “exceeds” threshold requirements, according to Barbara Hamby, a spokesperson for the USMC Program Executive Officer (PEO) Land Systems.

Programme officials embarked on a series of three MRIC flight tests during the past year, and wrapped up the stint with the third test event on 7–9 September at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Hamby told Janes in a 30 September email.

The air-defence weapon consists of several main components, including an Iron Dome launcher mounted on the back of a trailer to fire Tamir missiles, a mini battle management and weapon control (BMC) system for the Tamir missile, the service's Common Aviation Command-and-Control System (CAC2S), and the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR).

This final test marked the first time the service used the truck-mounted Iron Dome launcher, and the service said it functioned as planned.

More specifically, on 7 September the MRIC team tested the expeditionary launcher for the first time when it fired a single missile and a rapid dual salvo, Hamby wrote.

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