The U.S. Army has selected Leidos’ (NYSE: LDOS) Dynetics subsidiary to develop prototypes of a platform meant to defend against unmanned aircraft systems and cruise missile threats, Defense News reported Tuesday.
Defense News cited sources that say the service’s decision was based on a shoot-off for its enduring Indirect Fires Protection Capability program held at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico between April and May.
A team of Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) demonstrated the Iron Dome launcher and Tamir interceptor during the shoot-off, while Dynetics offered its Enduring Shield platform along with the Raytheon-built AIM-9X Sidewinder interceptor, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Enduring Shield launcher from Dynetics was based off the service’s Multi-Mission Launcher program, which the Army dropped to seek a more mature platform.
The Army plans to procure platforms that could be incorporated with the Integrated Battle Command System and be linked into existing and future versions of the Sentinel radar, according to the service’s IFPC solicitation.
The military branch wants a single vendor to build and deliver “fieldable prototypes” that could transition into testing phase by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022 and can integrate with IBCS to support combat capability by the third quarter of FY 2023.
The Army may award a follow-on contract to produce 400 launchers and related interceptors after the prototyping phase.
The service is using Iron Dome as an interim capability against cruise missile threats as it works to field an enduring IFPC system that could later be used to counter artillery, mortars and rockets in addition to drones and cruise missiles.