Leonardo DRS has received an initial contract award for 28 Initial Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) Mission Equipment Packages (MEP) from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). The award is the first of a five-year contract valued at more than $600 million.
Leonardo DRS will be responsible for providing critical component systems to the new anti-aircraft-and-UAV system, including the Moog Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform turret. This is capable of fitting a range of weapons, including the XM914 30mm cannon and M240 7.62x51mm machine gun, along with Stinger and Longbow HELLFIRE missiles.
The MEP also includes an on-board Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) to provide 360 degrees of aerial surveillance, identification friend or foe and other mission essential technologies.
The contract comes after GDLS’ bid on the Army’s IM-SHORAD program was accepted last year and marks the successful completion of what Leonardo describes as “…an aggressive prototype program that delivered nine prototypes and completed government testing in just two years.”
Based on a Stryker chassis, the IM-SHORAD is designed to counter threats from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), helicopters and fixed-wing attack aircraft. It is armed with Stinger heat-seeking missiles, Longbow Hellfire missiles (which provide a powerful anti-armour capability) and both a 30mm cannon and a 7.62x51mm machine gun.
Speaking of the contract, Aaron Hankins, Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Leonardo DRS Land Systems, said that:
“Leonardo DRS is excited to work with General Dynamics Land Systems and its Mission Equipment Package partners to deliver this important air defense capability to our warfighters. The rapid prototyping effort set the conditions for a very successful production program and we are excited to get started on production deliveries.”
Leonardo DRS will begin delivering the MEPs to General Dynamics for final integration onto purpose-built Strykers next year.