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Leonardo DRS receives order for additional US Army M-SHORAD mission equipment packages

General Dynamics Land Systems, the lead for the US Army's Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) system, is providing Leonardo DRS with USD204 million to purchase additional mission equipment packages for the Stryker-based weapon.

Leonardo DRS announced the modified deal on 9 September and said it is part of the original five-year contract under which it is expected to provide a total of 59 mission equipment packages for the programme. The company did not disclose how many packages the additional dollars will buy but did note that it anticipates delivering the first 28 units early next year.

M-SHORAD is designed to down aerial threats such as unmanned aircraft systems, as well as rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft. The system is based around the Stryker A1 vehicle and the platform is then integrated with Leonardo DRS's mission equipment package, which currently includes Moog's Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP) turret and Rada USA's Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar.

The RIwP for this weapon includes a modified M299 launcher for two Longbow Hellfire missiles, a Raytheon Stinger Vehicle Universal Launcher (SVUL) to hold four surface-to-air missiles, Northrop Grumman's XM914 30 mm Bushmaster Chain Gun, and an M240 7.62 mm machine gun.

The service developed the weapon as part of a rapid prototyping initiative and in April announced that the first enhanced vehicle was now in Ansbach, Germany, with the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. If all goes according to army plans, it will field 144 systems to four battalions.

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