By Ty Young
Tech News Arizona
Raytheon and General Dynamics have partnered to build the next-generation, infrared-guided rocket. Last week, the companies were rewarded with a direct hit.
Built for the U.S. Army, the Mid-Range Munition (MRM) passed its first test at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. last week when it hit a target approximately three miles from its launch site. The gun-fired projectile is being designed to give the Army a new, beyond-line-of-site capability.
"This was the first completely autonomous imaging infrared-guided shot in the history of the MRM program," said James Riley, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president for Land Combat. "MRM's beyond-line-of-sight capabilities will give Future Combat Systems brigade combat team soldiers, and potentially BCTs equipped with the Abrams tank, the ability to engage the enemy out of contact and win battles while minimizing friendly casualties."
The MRM test used two targeting technologies, laser and infrared communications. When in the "designate" mode, the MRM used laser guiding to approach a predetermined target. When the MRM was fired in the "autonomous" mode, it was fired in the general direction of a target. Once in the air, the MRM acquired its target through infrared sensors.