U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics Land Systems unveiled a model of an advanced version of newest Army’s short-range air defense system during Fires Conference at Fort Sill.
During the conference, General Dynamics revealed a model of the Initial Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense Capability or IM-SHORAD.
IM-SHORAD is designed to provide 360-degree air defense protection of the Stryker and Armor Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) throughout the range of military operations. Air and missile defense is one of Army modernization priorities.
The new mobile air defense systems need to provide a capability to fill the lack of air defense in current maneuver formations against air threats encountered to include: rotary wing, fixed wing, and Unmanned Aerial Systems.
IM-SHORAD, mounted on a Stryker, applies an open mission command architecture approach integrating the Sentinel Radar, Forward Area Air Defense – Command and Control, a Stinger Vehicle Universal Launcher, M299 Launcher, and Line of Sight radios on a vehicle platform. The system can interoperate with the fielded Air Defense Interrogator and Blue Force Tracker systems.
The recently signed requirements document for Maneuver SHORAD calls for a vehicle such as a Stryker A-1 variant with a 50-caliber automatic weapon or 30mm cannon on top, along with a pod of missiles, and eventually a 50kw laser.
The first battery will be fielded in fiscal year 2020 with a dozen systems. A full battalion will be fielded the following year with another soon afterward.
Over the past 15 years, the Army inactivated many of its SHORAD units because leaders didn’t see a compelling need for them. “We were told that we would always have air supremacy,” Brig. Gen. Randy McIntire heads up the Air and Missile Defense CFT said.
Then the Russians showed what they could do in Ukraine, attacking with drones, rockets and missiles, and setting up considerable anti-access, aerial denial. “I call it the period of awakening,” McIntire said, “when the Army woke up and realized we really don’t have much in the inventory that we can use to protect ourselves.”
The newest Army’s short-range air defense system will provide harden ground forces in Europe from Russian threats.