US is developing a medium-range land version of the Mk41 VLS

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WASHINGTON — Developed by the US for naval platforms, the Mk41 Vertical Launch System [VLS] is deployed on land as part of the Medium Range Capability [MRC] program.

Photo credit: Twitter

Lockheed Martin is developing a surface-to-surface missile system through the Mk41 Vertical Launch System. The medium-range weapon system [MRC], which will be delivered to the US military by the end of next year, will use the SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles. In the first phase, the US Army will receive 4 MRC Weapon Systems Battery Weapon Systems.

The US Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office [RCCTO] has commissioned Lockheed Martin to produce the prototype MRC, now called “Typhon”, in late 2020, which includes launchers, missiles, and a battery center.

The idea was to create the ability to hit targets with a range of 500 to 1,800 km or more than the future Precision Strike Missile [PrSM], but shorter than the range of the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon [LRHW] system. To do this, US military officials joined forces with the US Navy to use existing capabilities such as the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System [Mk 41 VLS] and the Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles.

Tomahawk

Photo credit: Wikiepdia

Tomahawk is a missile for all conditions with a long-range. It can be launched from different media, which makes it preferred. In addition to cruise missiles, Tomahawk can be an anti-ship, land-attack missile, or surface to surface missile. The missile first entered service in 1983 in the US Navy. Tomahawk is an American-made missile.

Tomahawk weighs 1,300 kg, but if launched with a booster reaches 1,600 kg. Tomahawk can carry a nuclear warhead [W80 with an explosive power of 5-150kT], a conventional warhead, or be used as a submunition with a combined effect BLU-97 / B or PBXN.

The rocket is powered by a Williams International F107-WR-402 turbofan using TH-dimer fuel and a solid-fuel rocket booster. Block IV as a model of armament in the Royal Navy has an operational range of 1000+ miles [1600+ km]. The maximum speed it can reach is subsonic or more precisely ~ Mach 0.74. about 567.7 mph [493.3 kn; 913.6 km / h].

The missile can be launched vertically, from a submarine, from a ship, and from a torpedo tube. Missile guidance systems include GPS, INS, TERCOM, DSMAC, and active radar homing.

SM-6 missile

Photo credit: Military Review

In addition to destroying air-breathing targets such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles, the SM-6 missile can also neutralize terminal ballistic missiles.

The SM-6 is also capable of engaging stationary ground targets and moving ships. The missile can pursue its targets with high accuracy from long distances. Due to the missile’s high speed and ballistic missile-like attack modes, defense against the missile is quite difficult.

There is no clear information on the missile’s range. According to estimates, the range of the missile varies between 240-460 km.

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