The LM MHTK, Miniature Hit to Kill, no warhead, directly destroy enemy targets through kinetic energy, a much cheaper missile and variation of thinking behind the longer range 7 km Starstreak.
MHTK under development by LM for the US Army Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program, IFPC, Indirect Fire Protection Capability / C-RAM, counter-artillery, rocket and mortar threats and UAVs
US Army EAPS program given high priority after Russian artillery attack for three minutes July 2014 when elements of four Ukrainian brigades only 9 km from border were devastated by Russian BM-21 Grad MLRS using dual purpose improved conventional munitions, air dropped mines, top down anti-tank submuntions and thermobaric fuel/air explosives.
MHTK range >3km, 27 inches length, 1.6 inches dia., 5 lbs, cost target $16,000 per missile in 2006 dollars at specified quantities, ~ 25% inflation to 2018 say $20,000, very low cost in missile prices.
Rocket solid propellant motor with four small wings located at the front of the weapon provide guidance and stability during the flight and the rear section also features four tail fins for increased manoeuvrability
Semi-active radar guidance, lock-on at the acquisition point with an AESA radar 45° field of view in elevation angle and can cover a scan angle of up to 90°.
US Army plans to fire the MHTK from their new MML, Multi-Mission Launcher that can launch AIM-9X, Hellfire, MHTK & Stinger, The MML is capable of 360° rotation and 0-90° elevation. Consisting of 15 tubes, the MHTK can be quad packed to take a total of 60 MHTK missiles.
Missile, launcher, radar set and engagement control station. A radio / RF data link facilitates communication between the operator on the ground and the MHTK in-flight.
Future short range point defence dichotomy, missiles or lasers ?
US Army MHTK would be a possible replacement for the 1 km range Phalanx ashore or at sea, at moment USN taking alternative route by spending $299M FY19 on lasers including point defence systems.
In May 2019 USN looking for a hard kill self defence systems to physically shoot down incoming missiles that could go onto various transport, tanker, and other combat support aircraft, P-8A etc. with internal weight of 2,300 lbs or less that could be either missile or laser.
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