Army hosting industry event on Short Range LE this month

By Dan Schere / January 2, 2024 at 2:23 PM

The Army will host an industry event later this month in Huntsville, AL as it seeks solutions for an initial capability that will meet the requirements of Short Range Launched Effects.

The service is seeking ground- and air-launch solutions for a Short Range LE system, according to a Dec. 21 government notice. Payload configurations may include electro-optical/infrared, lethal/kinetic, communication relay, radio frequency decoy and radio frequency detect, identify, locate and report.

Navigation systems are to be based on “supervised autonomous solutions” and “include a path to “Assured-Position, Navigation and Timing solutions,” the notice states.

The industry event, scheduled for Jan. 17-19, will include a meeting with multiple Army program offices, the Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team and Maneuver, Aviation, Intelligence and Cyber Centers of Excellence, with the focus on acquisition strategy and requirements. It will include question-and-answer sessions for vendors as well as meetings with leadership.

Launched Effects will give the Army the ability to team between crewed and uncrewed systems to “detect, identify, locate and report pacing threats in contested environments.”

On Dec. 3, the service’s Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Project Management Office and U.S. Special Operations Command successfully tested the first launch of the Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated Unmanned System at Ft. Campbell, KY using a Black Hawk as the launch platform. The first test flight of the fully integrated LE prototype is scheduled to take place early this year, with additional testing to follow. A final operational demonstration is set for the end of fiscal year 2024.

The Army has said the Launched Effects program of record is being defined by the Program Executive Office for Aviation, with the first iteration to support user evaluations before fielding with the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft. That is not expected to occur prior to FY-30. In November, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were awarded other transaction agreements for payloads as part of the first phase of the program.

Vendors interested in attending the industry event are asked to reply by Jan. 11, according to the notice.