Marine Corps tests radio frequency missile for littoral control

By Nick Wilson / September 27, 2022 at 11:07 AM

The Marine Corps conducted a successful live-fire test of a radio frequency missile earlier this month, according to a Monday service announcement.

“The purpose of this live-fire exercise was to validate that a radio frequency missile can be employed against threats on or coming from the water surface," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jon Osborn, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance battalion gunner, in a statement included in the announcement.

Marines fired the missile from a Light Armored Vehicle using a tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile (TOW) system -- a system that typically uses a thin wire to maintain communication between the missile and launch tube.

The radio frequency missile communicates using a signal rather than a wire. Wireless communication enables greater control of the missile’s trajectory and prevents the wire from catching on debris and throwing the missile off course, according to the Marine Corps.

The service believes this successful test, conducted at Camp Lejeune, NC, demonstrates the radio frequency missile’s value in helping to control littoral areas and waterways with a reduced footprint, the announcement states.

“The TOW missile system on the LAV allows us to load two missiles and swiftly switch from one to another,” said Sgt. Courtland Mabe in another statement included in the release. “We could load different types of missiles and engage different types of targets within seconds on the battlefield.”