The Marine Corps recently conducted the third and final live fire test of its Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) prototype, with the latest demonstration featuring Tamir interceptor missiles fired from a mobile launcher.

Israel’s Rafael announced the conclusion of the series of interception tests with the MRIC prototype, which incorporates components of its Iron Dome system, and follows comments from a senior Marine Corps official that the service is prepared to move toward procuring the system.

Program Executive Officer Land Systems Ground-Based Air Defense Program Manager, Don Kelley, shows the expeditionary launcher of the Medium-Range Intercept Capability prototype to Marine Corps senior leaders following a successful test demonstration of the system at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, June 30, 2022. (U.S. Army photo by John Hamilton)

“Once again, Rafael’s systems have proven that they are able to integrate into existing systems and create synergy between systems, providing optimal performance,” Pini Yungman, head of Rafael’s Air and Missile Defense Directorate, said in a statement. “In the latest test conducted by the Marines, a successful combination of the Tamir interceptor launched from a new launcher developed under the leadership of the Marines, combined with the Marines’ radar system and the battle management system, which are systems developed by American industries, was demonstrated.”

The MRIC prototype involves integrating the Marine Corps’ current Northrop Grumman [NOC]-built Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) and Common Aviation Command and Control System (CA2CS) with Israel’s Iron Dome mini-Battle Management Control components and Tamir interceptor missile.

“The three tests that took place this year proved that the performance of the MRIC system with Iron Dome interceptors is good and provides a dedicated launcher solution for the Marines,” Don Kelly, program manager for ground-based air defense in the Marine Corps’ Program Executive Office Land Systems, said in a statement.

Gen. Eric Smith, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said in July the service was ready to procure MRIC after the first two successful live fire tests with the prototype demonstrated the system’s effectiveness (Defense Daily, July 21). 

“High mobility, lightweight and much longer range, the MRIC, the Medium Range Intercept Capability, provided that to us. And we just proved it and tested it and now we’re going to start moving out to procure that system,” Smith said during a discussion with the Center for Strategic and International Studies at the time.

The Marine Corps in late June conducted the second successful live fire test with MRIC at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where the system successfully took out several simultaneously-launched cruise missile surrogate targets (Defense Daily, July 8).

Smith said the June 30 test involved using drones as the cruise missile surrogates, with MRIC successfully engaging the targets on three out of three attempts.

June’s live fire test followed a successful demonstration with MRIC last December where the system engaged targets shot in sequence, whereas the second event featured targets fired simultaneously (Defense Daily, Dec. 21).