On Monday, the US Marine Corps completed the live-fire test of its latest air defense prototype at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The prototype was designed to counter destructive projectiles.

The Medium-Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) prototype, an air defense system adapted from Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, hit the representative cruise missile targets that the Marine set simultaneously. This event is a step up from the previous testing in December, where multiple targets were launched in sequence.

In a statement, the Marine Corps said that “at its peak, numerous in-air targets, each with its own unique flight trajectory and velocity, surrounded the MRIC prototype. Upon firing, MRIC successfully hit each target using the Tamir missiles.”

Aside from assessing its intercepting capabilities, the recent live-fire test was also designed to evaluate “the primary subsystems’ integrations and the system’s overall capability to provide critical information to senior Marine Corps leadership as they decide the path forward for the MRIC prototype.”

Adapted from Israel’s Air Defense Missile System

MRIC prototype has the Iron Dome Tamir interceptor and launcher components, in conjunction with the US Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) that detects incoming projectiles and a Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S) designed to assess the threat level.

Marine Corps engineered this prototype to address the emerging gap in its air defense, recognizing how “long-range cruise missiles and anti-air weapon systems begin to get better and better” and that “air supremacy” should not be taken for granted, Major James Slocum, the MRIC team lead at the PEO Land Systems, said.

“We must be able to counter these types of capabilities,” Major Slocum said.

In use since 2011, the Iron Dome is a tested and proven interceptor engineered by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries to shoot down short-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, rockets, artillery, and mortars with a range of about 70 km. It is also capable of evaluating whether or not civilians or infrastructures are at risk before counterstrike.