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DARPA's MAD-FIRES project to enter Phase II

By Ryan Maass
DARPA's MAD-FIRES project to enter Phase II
DARPA's MAD-FIRES program aims to develop interceptor ammunition with the guidance capability of a missile and the speed and rapid-fire capabilities of conventional bullets. Pictured: An intercept-aerial guided missile is launched from a NATO Sea Sparrow launcher during a live-fire exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tiger Martinez

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin received an $8 million contract modification to support the second phase of the Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System.

The contract supports the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's effort to develop new ammunition combining the precision and guidance capabilities of missiles with the speed and rapid-fire capabilities of bullets.

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Under the contract modification, Lockheed Martin will develop a gun-launched, medium-caliber projectile with improved range and accuracy compared to other systems currently in use.

DARPA says the work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas; Minneapolis, Minn.; Montville, N.J., and several other locations. The work is expected to be complete within 30 months.

The modification brings the contract's cumulative value to over $18 million. DARPA is the contracting activity.

The Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System, or MAD-FIRES, aims to develop new guided gun-launched projectiles to improve defensive capabilities against air and surface threats.

With the new technology, DARPA says operators will be able to defend against multiple fast-moving targets at a time, and significantly reduce the cost of engagements.

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