A hybrid Al-Al3Ni metallic foam was synthesized in-situ via directed energy deposition (DED) of Ni-coated Al 6061 powder, without the need for a foaming agent. Three-dimensional characterization via X-ray computed tomography shows that the foam contains approximately 61.5 % porosity and a high volume fraction of the Al3Ni phase (~60 vol. %) within the cell walls. This microstructure is notably distinct from the eutectic structure that is typically observed in conventionally processed Al-Ni alloys. To investigate the mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms of the Al-Al3Ni cell walls, in-situ micro-pillar compression was performed, and the results reveal a notable yield strength of 560 MPa and a compressive strain that exceeds 30 %. These properties are attributable to the presence of a high volume fraction of Al3Ni particles, in combination with the charac- teristics of the Al/Al3Ni interfaces. To provide insight into the deformation mechanisms in the cell walls we used in-situ mechanical testing, transmission electron microscopy and precession electron diffraction characterization, together with molecular dynamics simulations. Our results reveal two distinct mechanisms: uniform dislocation- based deformation of the Al alloy phase and localized deformation within the slip bands in the Al3Ni phase. The results further highlight the importance of the Al/Al3Ni interfaces in mechanical strengthening and the transfer of plastic deformation from the Al phase to the Al3Ni phase. At high mechanical loads, cracks form due to the large stress concentration at the slip bands and slip band intersections in the Al3Ni, giving rise to intragranular fracture of Al3Ni and finally interfacial debonding and cracking.