DARPA is ready to start phase 2 of their project. Their goal is to create interceptor ammunition that has the guidance system of a missile. The project is called MAD-FIRES, or Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System. DARPA awarded Lockheed Martin an $8 million contract to complete the project. It will take 30 months, and the work will be done at several locations including Montville, NJ, Grand Prairie, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Early History of Precision Guided Weapons
Recognizing the difficulty of hitting moving ships during the Spanish Civil War, the Germans were first to develop steerable munitions, using radio control or wire guidance. The U.S. tested TV-guided (GB-4), semi-active radar-guided (Bat), and infrared-guided (Felix) weapons.
The Germans were first to introduce PGMs [Precision-guided Munitions] in combat, with the 1,400-kg (3,100-lb) MCLOS-guidance Fritz X armored gravity ordnance, to successfully attack the Italian battleship Roma in 1943 and sink a hospital ship at Anzio, and the similarly MCLOS-guided Henschel Hs 293 rocket-boosted glide missile (also in use since 1943, but only against lightly armored or unarmored ship targets).
The closest Allied equivalents were the 1,000-lb (454-kg) VB-1 AZON (Azimuth Only), used in both Europe and the CBI theater, and the US Navy’s Bat, primarily used in the Pacific Theater of World War II—the Navy’s Bat had its own on board, autonomous radar seeker system to direct it to a target. In addition, the U.S. tested the rocket-propelled Gargoyle, which never entered service. Japanese PGMs—with the exception of the anti-ship air-launched, rocket-powered, human-piloted Ohka suicide flying bomb—did not see combat in World War II.