Army CFT studying interim cruise missile defense

By Ashley Tressel / December 5, 2018 at 2:52 PM

The Army's air and missile defense cross-functional team is looking at a few different systems, including foreign-made, for an interim cruise missile defense capability, according to the team's director.

Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire at AUSA's Autonomy and AI Symposium in Detroit last week told Inside Defense the CFT "did some analysis" on the service's key AMD system -- the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept -- and identified "some challenges" with it.

McIntire said the team has scoped out a few systems that could "buy some time" while the IFPC Increment 2 program faces contract award delays and a possible change in acquisition strategy.

Lawmakers in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act have directed the Army to deploy two batteries of an interim, fixed-site cruise missile defense capability by Sept. 30, 2020, and two more by Sept. 30, 2023, if the defense secretary determines they are needed.

McIntire said the Army would likely select a system in one year, after the CFT tests those it is considering as a possible interim solution, one of which is the Iron Dome air defense system made by Israel-based Rafael.

"But there's so much -- in particular with the Iron Dome system -- there's a lot of U.S. investment in that program over the years, and [the Israelis have] really done a fantastic job developing that system, and it certainly [has] caught our attention," he said. "And it's worthy of demonstrating and experimenting with."