October 2019 -- With General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) showcasing the Initial Maneuver Short-Range Air Defence (IM-SHORAD) Stryker solution for the first time at AUSA the effort demonstrates how rapid prototyping is becoming a key capability in itself for the US Army.
To date the industry team, which includes three coequal primes in Raytheon, Leonardo DRS and GDLS, has developed the first five Stryker IM-SHORAD prototypes, according to Ed House, business development manager for Leonardo DRS land systems.
‘In 13 months, we have gone from a power point to a prototype,’ he said, noting that IM-SHORAD, while not perfect, is the first flagship effort to work under the US Army Future Command’s rapid prototyping demands for its new equipment.
One thing that surely helped the speed of this effort is that most of the equipment being added to IM-SHORAD would be described as ‘mature hardware’. The mission equipment package includes the XM914 30mm cannon from Northrop Grumman, the Longbow Hellfire from Lockheed Martin, Stinger missiles from Raytheon and a Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar from Leonardo DRS.
In addition, Moog provides its Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIWP) turret. This has also made up part of Leonardo DRS’ Stryker Medium Caliber Weapons System effort.
‘Under rapid prototyping we have used what we have on the shelf,’ said Kendall Linson, business development manager at General Dynamics Land Systems.
The IM-SHORAD Stryker on the floor at AUSA 2019 was one of five, with the coequal primes expecting to ultimately deliver nine to the US Army for testing. They are awaiting a contract for an additional four.
One vehicle is already under testing with the US Army and was handed over on 1 October. The government-led test phase will include live-fire testing in early 2020.
‘In January of 2020, the live-fire testing begins and that's what most people are paying attention to because that's where we'll test the guns. we'll test the missiles, both Stinger and Hellfire. That goes on for several months. That's not a short test,’ House described.
As the OEM for the Stryker GDLS was able to leverage the current production line for the IM-SHORAD vehicles, Linson said. He added that this is an entirely new product, a purpose built vehicle, outside of the some 24 variants of Stryker already in existence.
The IM-SHORAD seeks to meet demands of countering ‘group three’ aerial threats, including unmanned, rotary and fixed wing aircraft.