A Lockheed Martin-built Miniature Hit-to-Kill interceptor was successfully launched from a Multi-Mission Launcher in an engineering demonstration April 4 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The launch demonstrated the agility and aerodynamic capability of the MHTK missile, which is designed to defeat rocket, artillery and mortar targets at ranges greatly exceeding those of current and interim systems. The April 4 launch advances the program, increasing the level of MHTK integration maturity with the MML.
“Today’s global security environment demands agile, close-range solutions that protect soldiers and citizens from enemy rockets, artillery and mortars,” said Hal Stuart, Lockheed Martin’s MHTK Program Manager. “This test is a critical milestone demonstrating the interceptor’s maturity, and we look forward to continuing to build on this success using key data gathered from today’s launch.”
The MHTK interceptor was designed to be small in size while retaining the range, lethality and reliability of other Hit-to-Kill interceptors. MHTK is just over two feet in length and weighs five pounds at launch. The compact footprint of the MHTK allows multiple rounds to be packaged in a single MML tube.
The MML is a key component of the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 — Intercept program. The program is designed to provide Army forces protection from cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft systems and RAM threats. The MML is designed to carry and launch a variety of missiles from a single launcher.
The MHTK uses Hit-to-Kill technology, which destroys threats through kinetic energy in body-to-body contact. Hit-to-Kill technology removes the risk of collateral damage seen in traditional blast-fragmentation interceptors. The MHTK interceptor complements other Lockheed Martin Hit-to-Kill missile interceptors by delivering close range lethality with proven success for a true layered defense.