In a novel twist on the technology, the U.S. Army has successfully used a truck-mounted launcher to fire air-to-air missiles against unmanned aerial vehicles, officials said.
During a March 25 live-fire test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the so-called Multi-Mission Launcher mounted to a medium-duty tactical truck launched a radar-guided AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire and destroyed the drone target. A similar March 29 exercise involved the AIM-9X Sidewinder.
The tests wereÂ designed to show how the technology can be used to better protect ground troops from enemy rockets, mortars, artillery fire, cruise missiles and aircraft. The first Marine to die in fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, of Temecula, California — died of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his unit with rocket fire.
The exercises also marked a new adaptation of the Hellfire missile, a 100-pound tank-killing weapon typically fired from MQ-1 Predator and Gray Eagle drones, MQ-9 Reaper drones and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, among other aircraft.
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