US Army leaders are delaying several upcoming Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) testing and milestone decisions due to ongoing software problems with the prototypes and the coronavirus pandemic, according to Army Futures Command (AFC) head General Mike Murray.
first reported that the service was experiencing technological challenges integrating a mission equipment package – which includes a 30 mm cannon and Stinger missile system – onto Stryker A1 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).
Gen Murray said the service has now decided to slip the programme “a few months to the right” but this move shouldn’t delay initial fielding plans.
“It was a combination of software challenges and then adjusting to the Covid-19 environment,” the four-star general told reporters during a 27 May Defense Writers Group call. “When you’re working a test like that or a run-up like that for the test, it’s almost impossible to maintain the six-feet of social distancing; It’s getting the right [personal protective equipment] in place and then the software issues.”
Previously, the army had anticipated completing IM-SHORAD developmental testing by June and awarding an initial production contract for 32 vehicles around that timeframe. While Gen Murray did not provide a firm date for the delayed decisions, Brigadier General Brian Gibson, the head of the service’s Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team (CFT), told
in April that the production decision could be pushed out until the end of September.