The Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) Intercept Land-based Phalanx Weapon System (LPWS) program evolved from the operational success of the C-RAM system-of-systems effort in theater. It transitioned to an acquisition program to provide counter-RAM protection to the Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC)/Avenger Battalions, 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 44th ADA Regiment. C-RAM Intercept LPWS provides IFPC/Avenger battalions with the ability to defend against and defeat enduring Indirect Fire (IDF) threats.
Countering IDF threats requires a holistic design approach. C-RAM Intercept LPWS works with the C-RAM system-of-systems architecture and with other program of record systems to provide the complete suite of C-RAM capabilities. The major components interoperating with C-RAM Intercept LPWS at the IFPC/Avenger battalions include Air and Missile Defense Planning and Control System shelters; RAM Warn hardware; C-RAM Communications Network; C-RAM Command and Control workstations; and multiple counter-fire target acquisition radars, including AN/TPQ-50 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radars, AN/TPQ-53 radars, Sentinel radars and Ku-band Radio Frequency System radar.
In 2013, the Army Acquisition Executive (AAE) designated C-RAM Intercept an Army acquisition program and authorized fielding of LPWS guns and support equipment to the IFPC/Avenger battalions. Fielding is ongoing.
BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER
C-RAM Intercept LPWS provides C-RAM protection to warfighting personnel and high-value assets by detecting RAM launches and intercepting rounds in flight. To date, the C-RAM Intercept LPWS capability is credited with more than 375 successful intercepts of rockets and mortar rounds fired at high-value theater assets, with no fratricides or collateral damage.
- Primary component is the LPWS, a modified U.S. Navy Phalanx Close-In Weapon System mounted on a commercial 35-ton semitrailer for land-based operations
- Weight: 58,000 pounds
- Dimensions with Prime Mover: 65 feet long x 12 feet wide x 14 feet high
- Prime Mover: M916A3
- Crew Size: Four
- M61A1 20 mm Gatling gun capable of onboard target acquisition and fire control
- Max/Sustained Rate of Fire: 4,500 rounds per minute
- ~300 rounds per typical engagement
- LPWS barrels optimized for use with M940 ammunition
- M940 designed to self-destruct beyond 2,000 meters to minimize collateral damage
- Integrated search-and-track radars detect and engage wide range of IDF threats
- C-RAM command and control system integrates sensors, weapons and warning systems
3QFY16: C-RAM Intercept LPWS Conditional Materiel Release (CMR)
1QFY17: AAE approval to field under CMR
4QFY17: LPWS Spiral 6.4.1 software Urgent Materiel Release (UMR)
2QFY18: LPWS/Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems engineering test
3QFY18: LPWS Cruise Missile Defense capability demonstration
4QFY18: LPWS Spiral 6.4.3 software UMR
2QFY19-2QFY20: Logistics demonstration training, execution and verification
3QFY20: LPWS Spiral 6.4.1 software Full Materiel Release
3QFY21: Transition to Sustainment (organic, Army)