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SOCOM Seeks Medium Range Precision Strike System (MRPSS)

Just seven months after announcing its interest in a new Short Range Precision Strike System (SRPSS) for U.S. Special Operations Forces, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) has released an industry “sources sought” announcement for a Medium Range Precision Strike System (MRPSS).

While the earlier “short range” concept called a threshold maximum range of not-less-than six kilometers and an objective maximum range of not-less-than fifteen kilometers, the new notional “medium range” element description identifies “engaging at a threshold maximum range of not less than thirty (30) kilometers and an objective maximum range of not less than one hundred (100) kilometers,” adding a desired threshold capability of five kilometers  “with the intent of the engagement to be a K-kill [catastrophic kill] of personnel in the open with no protective gear.”

According to the MRPSS announcement, the system “should provide the capability for precision engagements by U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) users against enemy forces. The entire system is to be portable on a light, commercially available truck. Thus the entire system must weigh no more than 900 pounds [vs. 65 pounds for SRPSS] and not exceed a dimension of 76″ x 86″ x 200″ [vs. less than 48 x 6 x 6 inches for SRPSS] including all cables, power sources, fire control and any other required accessories.”

“The [MRPSS] system is required to be used both day and night, in all weather conditions in order to engage enemy personnel in the open, light structures, and vehicles,” it states. “The enemy vehicles could be stationary or moving commercial SUVs, pick-ups, or sedans. The system, at a minimum, should include a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) and Semi-Active Laser (SAL) terminal homing guidance system. It is desirable to have additional guidance modes such as, but not limited to, millimeter wave radar, synthetic aperture radar, imaging infrared or Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). It is highly desirable for the system to be capable of static or moving employment (from friendly vehicles on the move).”

Though the sources sought identifies a notional system “directly related to ground-to-ground engagements,” it adds that “it is highly desirable that the system be compatible with various fixed and rotary wing aircraft.”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...