The US Navy could shortly deploy an advanced weapon system to defeat multiaxis attacks by small combat boats.
The low-cost imaging terminal seeker (LCITS) is a future naval capability (FNC) that will be equipped to the unguided Hydra-70 rocket with an imaging infrared guidance solution for a more precise interception of target.
LCITS comprises three main subsystems including a targeting integration system aboard the helicopter, a digital smart launcher and the guided imaging rocket.
The helicopter tracks the position and velocity of the target by using its targeting system and transfers the information to the rocket launcher before the weapon is released.
The new technology enables the pilots to increase the number of targets that can be quickly engaged, at ranges up to 7km.
Currently, the Office of Naval Research-sponsored technology is entering the Medusa joint capability technology demonstration phase.
Office of Transition FNC director Steve Smolinski said the FNC programme represented the requirements-driven, delivery-oriented portion of the navy's science and technology investment.
"FNC-enabling capabilities draw upon technologies that can be developed, matured and delivered to acquisition programmes within a three to five-year period," he said.