The US Army Futures Command (AFC) has said that timelines have been adjusted for the service’s air and missile defence modernisation programmes.

Although time schedules have been slightly delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, programmes still remain on track to deliver required capabilities as expected, reports Devon Suits.

The programmes include the interim manoeuvre short-range air defence platform (IM-SHORAD) and the integrated air and missile defence battle command system (IBCS).

IM-SHORAD was scheduled to conclude its developmental testing this month. However, the army has delayed its next testing milestone due to software development process challenges and the virus.

Mounted on a Stryker A1 platform, IM-SHORAD system is designed to use a combination of guns, missiles, rockets, and on-board sensors to provide 360° air defence protection for soldiers.

During the initial acquisition phase, about 144 systems will be rolled out across four battalions by 2023.

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The IBCS programme provides an integrated command-and-control system capability to the Army.

Due to the lockdown restrictions in place, the IBCS tests have been postponed. They were originally expected to be conducted in mid-May at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, US.

Once the tests resume, personal protective equipment (PPE) will be incorporated to ensure the health and safety of all personnel during testing.

US Army for acquisition, logistics and technology the assistant secretary Bruce Jette said: “We remain on track for the first unit equipped for all programmes.

“That doesn’t mean that some of the programmes aren’t having to make adjustments to delivery schedules or milestones. We are making adjustments as necessary and working with the companies to catch up.”

Separately, the US Army Futures Command (AFC) is creating training opportunities to integrate its artificial intelligence expertise across the force.