Raytheon introduced at AUSA 2009 a new enhancement of the MLRS family, based on the Hammer ground-launched multi-role loitering missile. The Hammer was designed as a low-cost, land based loitering weapon system, based on the Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) family, extending the Army’s electronic attack and Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) capability.
Powered by a TJ-150 turbojet engine Hammer sustains flight duration of 60 minutes at 30,000 ft. at a cruising speed of 0.6 mach. The missile can cover a range of 200-500 km guided by on-board GPS/INS navigation unit. Flying an autonomous mission along a pre-programmed path, the missile can loiter near the target, receive and acknowledge target updated in flight, through a two-way communications link. The missile is controlled via the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) Net-Enabled Command Capability (NECC) through a two-way communications link, which also supports pre-launch mission planning. The Hammer can be loaded with several warheads, containing an electronic attack unit to suppress enemy air defense missiles and radars and a semi-active laser seeker, performing long-range precision strike with unique re-attack capability. A unitary warhead and a tri-modal active seeker complement the Hammer effects, with the tri-modal seeker enabling operation under all weather conditions and engagement of moving targets. The missile uses existing MLRS/HIMARS launchers, each loading one (HIMARS) or two (M270) six-pack containers.