USMC not going to full production of missile
ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Marine Corps canceled plans to go into full-rate production on a short-range missiles based, in part, on lessons learned from the conflict in Iraq, officials said.
On Friday, the Corps announced plans to suspended plans to buy the Predator Short Range Anti-tank Weapon missile system made by Lockheed-Martin Missiles and Fire Control out of Orlando, Fla.
“We’ve decided not to go to full production. We had done some testing and combined those testing results with operations in Iraq and determined we do not need the short range capabilities of the missile,” said Capt. Chad Walton, spokesman for Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico, Va.
The Predator Short Range missile has a capability of firing within a short 17-meter range, and while the Corps has nothing in its inventory with that short of a range, real-life operations in Iraq indicated it’s not needed, he said.
The Corps does use the Javelin missile system, which has proven adequate, he said. Results of reviews of complaints made by Marines in Iraq indicated some of the troops had not received adequate training or operated the missile system improperly, Walton said. Army troops lodged no complaints with the Javelin system.
Lockheed-Martin will continue to supply the Corps with low-rate production testing missiles and “we will continue to support the Marine Corps, our customer, in whatever their decision is with regard to the future of the weapon system,” said Jeff Adams, a Lockheed spokesman.
Neither knew the total cost of the long-term, full-rate production contract.
The Corps’ Systems Command will continue to receive the Predator simulators, training gear and the low-rate initial production supply of the weapon for a total inventory of 730 missiles, Walton said.