US Marine Corps to add L-MADIS counter drone system to air defense capabilities from 2024

US Marine Corps is due to take delivery of the vehicle-mounted Light-Mobile Air Defense Integrated System (L-MADIS) counter drone system towards the end of 2024, according to a report by Defense News.

“The operational debut of MADIS came in July 2019, when its light version, or L-MADIS, mounted on a variant of the Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle shot down an Iranian drone while deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship Boxer. The mission, which came about a month after Iran downed an expensive U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk, showcased the transportability and effectiveness of the MADIS family of systems,” says the report.

Requested funding of USD200 million for fiscal 2024 includes USD130.2 million to buy 13 MADIS Increment 1 systems, to be mounted on top of joint light tactical vehicles; USD24.6 million to retrofit seven previously procured systems with existing technology; and another USD12.5 million for training and logistics. Another USD8 million is dedicated to procuring engineering change orders “required to ensure increased lethality against evolving threats,” according to a budget justification document. The document adds that the MADIS Increment 1 Block 2 upgrade, which will start the acquisition process by fall, “will focus on kinetic and non-kinetic capability supporting increased lethality.”

A request for proposals “will be released prior to the end of the current fiscal year for the MADIS Block 2 effort that will be seeking industry solutions to meet a full range of defeat technologies to counter the UAS threat,” Barbara Hamby, a spokeswoman for Program Executive Office Land Systems, told Marine Corps Times in an email.

L-MADIS, which is small enough to be transported in a sling below an H-53 helicopter, also comes as a two-vehicle set. The Mk-1 variant can transmit and receive data from air and ground platforms, while the Mk-2 adds target detection, tracking, and friend-or-foe identification, according to budget documents.

Easily deployable aboard ships, these systems will provide an added layer of defense for Marine expeditionary units at sea, says Defense News.

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