Raytheon Developing New Multi-Purpose Loitering Missile


Released on Monday, April 3, 2006
United States of America
MPLM - Multi-Purpose Loitering Missile
Raytheon Company is funding and developing a Multi-Purpose Loitering Missile (MPLM) System that will fill the joint fires capability gaps and meet the long war requirements engendered by the global war on terrorism.

The system's airframe was successfully vertically launched in December 2005 at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division Land Range, China Lake, California.

The MPLM system concept includes the use of the field operational Army Field Artillery Tactical Data System command and control system, which bridges the joint force and uses a state of the art composite airframe. The Raytheon-funded concept will incorporate the use of a two way satellite data link to allow designation to targets of greater priority while in flight and the use of a seeker to reduce target location error.

The system will be capable of being launched from both vertical launch systems (VLS) and self-contained canister launch systems. Raytheon brings ship platform integration to the forefront with a design that will be insensitive munition compliant, with plug and play options, including more capable seekers and multiple payloads.

The Raytheon approach also places complete emphasis on all aspects of cost in order to minimize financial impacts to the government if a multi-purpose loitering missile program goes forward. The December 5, 2005, launch featured an MPLM airframe fired from a MK-14 ground launch canister.

The Raytheon MPLM airframe was successfully launched in a VLS configuration, demonstrating its ability to survive launch shock and be boosted to a cruise altitude. This non-powered event also displayed successful booster separation and aerodynamic descent with wings deployed. The MPLM system is being developed at Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, Arizona.

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