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,
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
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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