The US Army has reassigned primary responsibility of the Mid-Range Capability (MRC) from the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office to Program Executive Office Missiles and Space. The MRC provides a land-based, ground-launched system supporting multi-domain fires against specific threats. The Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office delivered Battery 1 in FY 2023. The delivery included an initial prototype MRC at the Battery Level as part of the Long-Range Fires Battalion in support of Multi-Domain Operations. The Battery consists of a Battery Operations Center, Federated Command and Control, Vertical Launch System, and the Navy’s SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles. The MRC achieved operational capability in 2023 upon completion of system testing, training, and delivery of the missiles. PEO MS will now conduct further prototype fabrication, fielding, future production, and lifecycle sustainment.
“We thank the entire DoD team, as well as our joint service and industry partners, for delivering this hardware so Soldiers can begin training as quickly as possible. 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.
The U.S. Army eventually plans to field a Mid-Range Capability (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. The U.S. Navy uses the Tomahawk, an intermediate-range, subsonic, cruise missile to strike targets from 1,000 miles away and can switch destinations in mid-flight. 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. The U.S. Army took its next step in bolstering its top modernization priority with a successful launch of the Tomahawk missile from its mid-range capability prototype system on June 27 2023, showcasing the potential of its newest, ground-based missile launcher.
The Mid-Range Capability (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 U.S. 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.