Lockheed Martin's Miniature Hit-to-Kill Interceptor

Lockheed Martin is developing an exciting new air defence interceptor called Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK), which essentially takes components from core technology the company developed for the combat-proven Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) weapon systems and miniaturised this to address the Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) threats.

MHTK provides unmatched levels of accuracy, lethality and assured defeat for C-RAM threats. To shrink the technology behind the missile, Lockheed Martin looked to the defence industry for inspiration, then applied the core principles of hit-to-kill capability, seeker accuracy and missile agility to focused problems. 

Lockheed Martin has achieved miniaturisation on MHTK using photonics, medical imaging technologies and mobile phone industry techniques, combined with state-of-the-art electronic packaging. The company also borrowed technologies from other Lockheed Martin programmes, such as ejection seat capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II and durability best practices from the automobile industry.

The MHTK interceptor is 2.5 feet (72 cm) in length and weighs about 2.2 kg at launch. Though small, MHTK is designed to retain the range and lethality desired in a C-RAM solution, its small size enabling the defeat of a saturation attack. The MHTK uses hit-to-kill technology, which destroys threats through very accurate application of kinetic energy in body-to-body contact. In fact, MHTK does not contain a warhead, which reduces the risk of collateral damage as seen with traditional blast-fragmentation interceptors. This unique technology leverages existing combat-proven systems and provides a mobile, organic self-protection capability to Army maneuver elements and critical infrastructure. 

The MHTK interceptor has been successfully flight tested to demonstrate the interceptor's impressive agility, and to validate the performance of its airframe and electronics, with more flight testing is planned for 2019.