New technology to help our soldiers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New technology to help our soldiers

New technology will soon be available to help our soldiers. (Source: U.S. Army) New technology will soon be available to help our soldiers. (Source: U.S. Army)

A new innovative way to help our soldiers in the war zone will soon be in those capable hands.

It combines several different types of missiles into one device.

“Exhilarating to say the least.We’re excited to get this in the field,” said Colonel Terrence Howard, the project manager for Cruise Missile Defense Systems at Redstone.

It’s the multi-mission launcher, one piece of a program called IFPC, indirect fire protection capability.

It’s a mobile ground-based weapon system designed to defeat aerial threats.

First time in air defense history that we’ve designed a launcher capable of launching different interceptors.

"We can house up to 6 different interceptors at one time,” said Lt. Colonel Christopher Whitmark, the launcher’s program director.

The U.S. Army user community came up with the system concept, then PEO Missiles and Space and AMRDEC made it a reality.

“It starts out as a concept as what we call a user community, and this happens to be the Fire Center of Excellence, stationed out of Fort Sill, OK. They came to us at PEO Missiles and Space and say ‘I need this capability for our soldiers because of what they deal with in the field.’ We went to our AMRDEC partners on Redstone, asked them to design, build and fabricate a concept for us to go out and test to see if this makes sense. Trying to package multiple missiles into one launcher, that’s not easy. They were able to do it,” Howard said.

Howard explained this system is just the beginning.

“The idea behind this network is to take what is needed for the problem presented to the warfighter, plug into the network and offer defendant opportunities. This concept is going to evolve over time,” said Howard.

IFPC is made up of radar, command control, the launcher and interceptors or missiles, all put together.

“It says I’m here and in this area and protecting this asset. So let’s say you have airfield you want to protect from any aerial threat. This is designed to protect that asset from people throwing things at us,” said Howard.

The Tennessee Valley put it into motion.

“It was developed here, designed here and fabricated here and now we’ve got what we have today as a result of that. And it’s because of this local community. I refer to it as the game changer for air defense. it’s all in one box now, it’s not multiple systems, it reduces the footprint of the warfighter, and saves on cost one launcher multiple missiles,” said Howard.

The system is currently in the hands of PEO Missiles and Space and AMRDEC. It’s undergoing more testing but will be in the hands of the warfighter by 2019.

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