General Dynamics has recently awarded Leonardo DRS a contract to provide additional mission equipment packages for the US Army’s Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) Increment 1 (M-SHORAD Inc. 1) systems.
The contract is valued at $204 million and will see Leonardo provide 59 additional MEPs for the program.
This order follows the first delivery order for 28 production MEPs being delivered beginning early next year.
These production contract awards follow a successful rapid prototyping effort that completed an aggressive government test schedule and fielded four production-like systems in Germany. M-SHORAD integrates existing guns, missiles, rockets and sensors onto a Stryker A1 vehicle to provide defense for maneuvering forces against unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing and residual fixed-wing threats.
Leonardo DRS Land Systems fully integrates the MEP before providing it to General Dynamics Land Systems, the platform integrator and prime contractor.
The M-SHORAD Inc. 1 MEP includes Moog’s Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) turret with multiple kinetic effectors including the XM914E1 30mm cannon, M240 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, Stinger and Longbow Hellfire missiles. The MEP also includes Rada USA’s Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) and several other enabling technologies.
“Leonardo DRS appreciates the Army’s decision to procure the additional M-SHORAD Inc. 1 systems. The team is on track to deliver the mission equipment packages to General Dynamics Land Systems on schedule,” said Aaron Hankins, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Systems line of business. “This capability is urgently needed for today’s battlefield, and we are excited to be a part of the team delivering it to our soldiers.”
The army used a rapid prototyping strategy to accelerate the timeline for M-SHORAD initial operating capability by four years, resulting in the delivery of a prototype system in approximately one year. In 2020, 18 air and missile defense crewmembers from the 5-4 ADA regiment in Germany were selected to undergo a 6-month initial operational assessment with the prototype systems at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
With first systems already fielded, future development of follow-on M-SHORAD systems will incorporate technology insertions, to include directed energy and improved missiles, utilizing a mix of complementary directed energy and kinetic interceptor systems to protect maneuver forces.