WASHINGTON — General Dynamics Land Systems has secured a $1.2 billion contract at the close of the fiscal year to build and deliver the U.S. Army’s Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system, or IM-SHORAD.

The Stryker combat vehicle-based system includes a mission equipment package designed by Leonardo DRS. That mission equipment package includes Raytheon’s Stinger vehicle missile launcher.

The estimated completion date of the contract is Sept. 30, 2025, according to a Defense Department contract announcement.

Work locations and funding will be determined with each order.

GDLS officials told Defense News on Oct. 1 that the initial order for the contract, worth $230 million, is for 28 vehicles, and that the company has begun ordering material and laying out production for those vehicles.

The first vehicle under this contract will roll off the line in roughly 18 months, but the first platoon will be fielded in March 2021 and the first battalion (of 32 vehicles) will be fielded in September 2021 using prototypes already built to fill it out.

A second battalion will be fielded in 2022.

The Army wrapped up developmental testing for the SHORAD system after experiencing a minor “hiccup” that, when paired with complications due to the coronavirus pandemic, set the program back by a few weeks, Maj. Gen. Robert Rasch, the service’s program executive officer for missiles and space, said Aug. 5.

The production contract award came on time.

It took just 19 months from the time the service generated the requirement to the first delivery of a platform for testing, answering an urgent call in 2016 from U.S. Army Europe to fill the short-range air defense capability gap. The service received the requirement to build the system in February 2018.

After a shoot-off in the desert of White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and subsequent evaluations of vendors, the Army selected a Stryker combat vehicle-based system with the Leonardo DRS mission equipment package.

Training has already begun at White Sands in preparation for an early user assessment in the latter part of the year.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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