Leidos, a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology innovator, has delivered the first Enduring Shield launchers.
The Enduring Shield program supports the U.S. Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 (IFPC Inc 2) program, which is a critical part of the Department of Defense’s layered defense strategy.
Enduring Shield is a ground-based, mobile system that aims to combat cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems. The system is a key part of the solution to protect and defend critical civilian and military infrastructure.
It also bridges the gap between tactical short range air defense and strategic systems. Enduring Shield is able to integrate with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), which was successfully demonstrated in summer 2023.
All units being provided by Leidos are fieldable prototypes, which means if the need arises, the systems can be deployed.
Leidos’ Dynetics team was selected as the primary contractor to develop the Enduring Shield system as part of the Army’s IFPC Inc 2 program in September 2021. The original delivery date for the launchers was scheduled for March 2023, but supply chain issues and technical challenges led to a delay in physical delivery.
However, Leidos and the Army worked closely together to integrate and test different facets of the program to mitigate any potential negative impacts to the system production and fielding target timelines.
Prior to the delivery, Leidos announced the successful Risk Reduction Flight Demonstration (RRFD) of its Enduring Shield Weapon System.
The RRFD demonstrated the ability of Enduring Shield to launch a test AIM-9X interceptor from a simulated Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) interface. The event validated the end-to-end launch functionality of the weapon system, including sending the AIM-9X interceptor to a designated target location.
The Army will begin its Developmental Test program in 2024 for the prototype launchers as part of the next phase for the Department of Defense’s layered defense strategy. Leidos is making preparations at its Chase facility for the next order of launchers, which is expected in 2025.
Leidos celebrated the event with Huntsville-based employees via a large gathering at its Chase facility, where speeches were given by managers and partners of the program and prototypes were available to view.
Larry Barisciano, Leidos Weapon Systems Operations Manager, said; “We know how vital Enduring Shield is to our Army customer, our warfighters and our nation. Delivering these units today means so much to our team. We are proud to have reached this point and are excited for the testing and fielding milestones to come.”
Steve Cook, Leidos Dynetics President, added; “This milestone by the Enduring Shield team is a prime example of how Leidos Dynetics is working to build critical weapons systems for our warfighters right here in North Alabama.”