Tag Archives: Mid-Range Capability (MRC)

Mid-Range Capability

The Army took its next step in bolstering its top modernization priority with a successful launch of the Tomahawk missile from its Mid-Range Capability (MRC) prototype system on June 27, showcasing the potential of its newest, ground-based missile launcher.

Mid-Range Capability (MRC)
The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office’s Mid-Range Capability Project Office, in conjunction with Soldiers from 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, and the U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, successfully demonstrated the launch of a Tomahawk missile from the Army’s prototype Mid-Range Capability system on June 27, 2023 (U.S. Army photo by Darrell Ames)

Soldiers from the 1st Domain Task Force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and Sailors from the Navy Program Executive Office Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Office took part in the joint, live-fire exercise that demonstrated the system’s full operational capability. Earlier this year, the Army fired an SM-6 missile from the mid-range capability. The launches occurred at undisclosed test sites.

The Navy uses the Tomahawk, an intermediate-range, subsonic, cruise missile to strike targets from 1,000 miles/1,609 km away and can switch destinations in mid-flight.

The Army eventually plans to field an MRC battery which will be assigned to a strategic fires battalion under a multi-domain task force. The battery’s prototype design consists of four launchers and a control center.

Soldiers contributed to the design and testing of the Mid-Range Capability weapon system, which the Army will use to augment its long-range, precision fires capability.

«From the start of the Mid-Range Capability program, Soldiers and Sailors have collaborated to provide the Army with this important capability», wrote the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. «Soldiers have consistently participated in each phase of the development, training and testing of the MRC and continue to provide useful feedback».

The MRC system will eventually support the joint, multi-domain mission. The SM-6 missile can engage multiple threats including terminal ballistic missile defense, anti-air warfare and anti-ship strike roles.

Improvements by near peer adversaries in their long-range artillery systems present possible threats to U.S. forces. The Chinese military has leveraged Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAV, to produce precision munitions and greater target acquisition.

The Army made long-range precision fires its top modernization priority to upgrade and bolster its artillery and missile systems while developing hypersonic weapons and long-range cannons.

Mid-Range Capability

The U.S. Army accepted delivery of the first prototype Mid-Range Capability (MRC) battery. The MRC provides a land-based, ground-launched system with a range between the Army’s Precision Strike Missile and the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon.

Mid-Range Capability (MRC)
Army accepts delivery of first prototype MRC battery

Building from existing U.S. Navy missile and launcher systems, the MRC provides a fires capability that has not existed in the U.S. Army since the implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in 1987. Answering the call to the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority, Long-Range Precision Fires, the MRC can defeat a variety of mid-range targets.

«The MRC rapidly progressed from a blank piece of paper in July 2020, to the Soldiers’ hands in just over two years. The Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) team, as well as our joint service and industry partners, delivered this hardware so Soldiers can begin training as quickly as possible», said Lieutenant General Robert Rasch, Director of the Army RCCTO.

Initial hardware delivery occurred with ongoing support planned through December 2022 in preparation for training to begin after the holidays. The delivery includes a complete MRC ground equipment and reload capability, which comprises a battery operations center, four launchers, prime movers, and modified trailers.

The MRC achieves operational capability in fiscal year 2023 upon completion of system testing, training, and delivery of the missiles. Delivering the ground hardware first allows the Soldiers to train on the equipment, create doctrine for the system, and develop tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The MRC Project Office works closely with the Soldiers and Sailors who benefit from this system via embedded Soldier-Sailor Centered Design Events. These events provided critical user feedback throughout the design process and ensured Soldiers and Sailors were at the center of this effort.

In executing the mid-range fires system and testing, the Army continues to work in close coordination with its joint service and agency partners.

Dino Pusinsky, Director of Next Generations Solutions for Lockheed Martin with Gary Hallinan, RCCTO’s Mid-Range Capability Project Manager. The first Mid-Range Capability battery was delivered to the U.S. Army, increasing their capability to address threats and provide support in multi-domain operations (Lockheed Martin)