Leidos announced on 19 December 2023, the completion of the Risk Reduction Flight Demonstration (RRFD) for its Enduring Shield Weapon System.

Following the successful completion the system is progressing to the next stage of its development, including an initial shipment of launchers as part of the Department of Defence’s multi-layered defence strategy. 

The Enduring Shield system is a ground-based, mobile defence system designed to counter cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems and safeguard key civilian and military infrastructure. The system also serves as a link between tactical short-range air defence systems and strategic defence mechanisms, such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot forces. 

Leidos subsidiary Dynetics received a contract for $237m in September 2021 to manufacture the Enduring Shield mobile ground-based weapon system, beating out competition from Rafael’s Iron Dome during US Army testing according to a Congressional Research Service report. The 2.5-year contract was awarded for the Enduring Indirect Fires Protection Capability (IFPC) by the US Army Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, to provide 16 field-able launcher prototypes, 60 interceptors and related all-up round magazines (AUR-M).

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By GlobalData

The RRFD was conducted to demonstrate the capability of the Enduring Shield system to launch an AIM-9X interceptor missile from a simulated Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) interface. This test successfully validated the system’s full launch process, from initiating the interceptor to targeting a specified location.The integration of Enduring Shield with the IBCS was successfully demonstrated earlier in the summer of 2023.

Following the successful completion of the RRFD, the Enduring Shield system is progressing to the next stage of its development. This includes the initial shipment of launchers as part of the Department of Defence’s multi-layered defence strategy. 

The US Army IFPC Inc 2 program is scheduled to start its developmental test  in January 2024, with an operational assessment planned later in the year. The data obtained from the RRFD and the tests in 2024 will be utilised to enhance the next batch of launchers produced by Leidos.

Larry Barisciano, Weapon Systems Operations Manager for the Leidos Dynetics team, commended the development, and emphasised the readiness of the prototypes for government testing, expressing confidence in the project’s next phase in collaboration with the US Army.