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US Army awards Dynetics-Raytheon team IFPC Inc 2 development contract

The US Army officially announced that Dynetics' ‘Enduring Shield' launcher, paired with Raytheon's ground-launched AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, won its Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 (IFPC Inc 2) programme, and that the duo will receive an initial USD237 million to continue development. This Dynetics-Raytheon offering, based around a once-abandoned launcher, secured the deal over Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' combat-proven Iron Dome.

Shortly after the 24 September announcement, Program Executive Officer for Missiles and Space Major General Robert Rasch, and Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team Director Major General Brian Gibson answered reporters' questions about the contract for the winning team to deliver 16 launcher prototypes and 60 ‘fieldable' interceptor prototypes by the end of March 2024. If the programme proceeds as planned, the army will award a follow-on production contract for up to 400 launchers.

“The process evaluated industry-proposed solutions of a launcher, an interceptor, and an all-up-round magazine, which would then integrate with the US Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) … as the fire-control component, [and] the Sentinel radar is the US sensor,” Maj Gen Rasch said. “The technical evaluations conducted by the team assessed the benefits, shortcomings, and risks of each proposal against the IFPC Inc 2 requirements.”

More specifically, the source selection committee weighed the two proposals based on three criteria in the descending order of importance – current and future capability, schedule to include technical maturity, and price.

When it comes to the capability category, the service wants a system to defeat cruise missiles with the goal of adding in a counter rocket, artillery, and mortar mission threats in the 2026 timeframe.

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