March 2020 -- Leonardo DRS is readying to move forward on integration efforts for two major Army maneuver air defense programs later this summer, pending delays due the coronavirus, including a production award for the Interim Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) platform.
Leonardo DRS is readying to move forward on integration efforts for two major Army maneuver air defense programs later this summer, pending delays due the coronavirus, including a production award for the Interim Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) platform and a decision to deploy a new mounted counter-drone capability.
Ed House, business development manager for Leonardo DRS’ land systems, told Defense Daily on Monday the first five initial IM-SHORAD prototypes have been delivered to the Army and have been live fire testing just 16 months after the initial contract award.
“The prototypes have done well. They have, in fact, procured four additional prototypes that they plan to provide to a unit for an operational assessment in the coming months,” House said. “From the government-published timeline, we would expect some production decision and production award later this summer. Obviously, with what’s going with COVID-19, things could get delayed.”
IM-SHORAD Stryker is the Army’s effort to field a new mobile platform capable of taking down unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing and fixed-wing threats, as well as cruise missiles.
General Dynamics was awarded a contract in 2018 to serve as the platform integrator for IM-SHORAD on its Stryker vehicles, while Leonardo DRS is supplying the mission equipment package, which includes Moog’s Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) turret system.
Leonardo DRS is also utilizing RIwP for a mounted counter-UAS (C-UAS) program that is in final assembly and could be headed to a deployment decision later this summer, according to House.
The Army first tapped Leonardo DRS for the program in 2017 and House said the integration effort is focused on delivering “a very capable counter-UAS kinetic defeat capability using RIwP as the centerpiece.”
“That’s what everyone is talking to us about, the need for counter-UAS capability that provides a kinetic defeat capability that addresses Group 1, 2 and 3 UAS threats from a very long range. There are different things that we’ve integrated on the turret that allows the user to defeat drones at different ranges,” House said.
Leonardo DRS was set to showcase a mounted C-UAS capability at the AUSA Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama–since canceled due to the coronavirus–that would have featured a 30mm cannon, EO/IR sensor, RADA MHR radar and a Stinger missile launcher.
“The mounted capability gives you the opportunity to place it or employ it such that it watches over mounted formations. It’s difficult to get counter-UAS capabilities in the hands of every soldier as he or she is clearing a village or town. But a mounted capability can be driven up to a high spot, use its organic radar to detect, and then you provide an umbrella protection over a dismounted formation as its moving,” House said.