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Leidos overcomes challenges to deliver first Enduring Shield launchers

HUNTSVILLE – There was no shortage of luminaries as Leidos celebrated delivery of its first Enduring Shield launchers at the company’s Chase facility on Wednesday.

Company officials, military representatives and Huntsville-based employees gathered to mark the milestone. The Enduring Shield program supports the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 program, which is a critical part of the Department of Defense’s layered defense strategy.

Speeches were given by Leidos Dynetics President Steve Cook; Larry Barisciano, Leidos Weapon Systems Operations manager; Brig. Gen. Frank Lozano, Program Executive Officer  Missiles and Space; Alex Burns, Leidos division manager over the Enduring Shield program; and Col. Andrew Lunoff, program manager for the Army’s Short and Intermediate Effectors for Layered Defense (SHIELD).

“We know how vital Enduring Shield is to our Army customers, our warfighters and our nation,” Barisciano said in a news release. “Delivering these units today means so much to our team. We are proud to have reached this point and are excited for the testing and fielding milestones to come.”

Leidos’ Dynetics team was selected as the primary contractor to develop the Enduring Shield system as part of the Army’s IFPC Inc 2 program in September 2021. The original delivery date for the launchers was scheduled for March 2023, but supply chain issues and technical challenges led to a delay in physical delivery.

However, Leidos and the Army worked to integrate and test different facets of the program to mitigate any potential negative impacts to the system production and fielding target timelines, the company said.

“This milestone by the Enduring Shield team is a prime example of how Leidos Dynetics is working to build critical weapons systems for our warfighters right here in North Alabama,” Cook said. “I’m incredibly proud of this accomplishment by the team and look forward to our continued work with the U.S. Army on this important program.” 

Enduring Shield is a ground-based, mobile system used to combat cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft systems, the company said. The system is a key part of the solution to protect and defend critical civilian and military infrastructure. It also bridges the gap between tactical short range air defense and strategic systems.

Enduring Shield works with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, which was successfully demonstrated in summer 2023. The units are fieldable prototypes, which means if the need arises, the systems can be deployed.

The Army will begin its Developmental Test program in 2024 for the prototype launchers. Leidos is making preparations at its Chase facility for the next order of launchers, which is expected in 2025. 

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