Firing Naval missiles from US Army artillery, MRC goes into soldiers’ hands

Firing Naval missiles from US Army artillery MRC goes into soldiers hands
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The Mid-Range Capability (MRC) long-range precision fires missile system is leaving development and heading into “soldier’s hands” according to a release from the US Army, following the transfer of responsibility from the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space (PEO MS), according to a release the US Army on 30 January 2024.

The MRC, also known as the Strategic Mid-Range Fires System (SMRF), will ground-launch US Navy missiles, the SM-6 and Tomahawk, from existing US Army artillery systems.

The advances in the MRC program put US ground forces a step closer to countering challenges from Russian and Chinese artillery systems, reported to have been improved for delivering longer range fires according to a Congressional Research Service report published in November 2023.

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The MRC is based on current artillery and missile systems that have been upgraded to deliver long-range precision fires. Its first prototype, the Strategic Mid-Range Fires (SMRF) battery, delivered in late 2023, consisted of four vertical launch systems and a battery operations centre with federated command and control. The four prototype Typhoon systems were delivered by Lockheed Martin  in late December 2022. 

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By GlobalData

“The MRC development from a blank piece of paper to being in the Soldier’s hands has been quick and impressive,” said Brig. Gen. Frank Lozano, Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, as he gave thanks to the Department of Defence team for quickly delivering the defence equipment. 

MRC in the Multi-Domain Task Force

The Army plans to field four MRC batteries as part of its Multi-Domain Task Forces (MDTF) in organised within Strategic Fires battalions along with batteries of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon batteries, according to a 2021 US Army Chief of Staff Paper. 

The MDTF is a is designed to synchronise precision effects and precision fires for anti-access and area denial networks across all domains. 

Each MDTF is intended to have one MRC battery organically, acquiring individual systems annually, however the Congressional Research Service questions if there will eta shortfall, as only four MRC batteries are being procured for five planned MDTF

After completion system testing, training, and delivery of the missiles, the MRC achieved operational capability in 2023. Further prototype fabrication will be conducted by PEO MS, along with fielding, future production, and lifestyle sustainment. 






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