The U.S. Army could sign a contract around August 2018 for new short-range air defence (SHORAD) systems.
The alleged deal could be including packages to convert Stryker armored vehicles into short-range air defense systems. According to the Defense News, prototypes expected the spring of 2019.
The Stryker Maneuver SHORAD Launcher (MSL): This short-range air defense (SHORAD) solution meets the Army’s emerging operational need to counter unmanned aerial systems, rotary wing, fixed wing and cruise missile threats. Boeing and General Dynamics Land Systems have teamed up to equip the U.S. Army’s Stryker armored fighting vehicle with missiles, guns to bring offensive and defensive fire-power close into the fight where armored Strykers can operate more effectively than tactical vehicles.
Dedicated SHORAD capability adds a new operational dimension to the Stryker fleet and provides room for growth. The Stryker MSL utilizes a common Army platform that is cost-effective, highly mobile, survivable, sustainable and transportable.
The Defense News also noted that the U.S. Army has moved rapidly to bring SHORAD capability back into the maneuver force since then-U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges about a year and a half ago recognized a capability gap in SHORAD that needed filled for possible operations against near-peer threats such as Russia.
The Army expects to be fully under contract by August and expects the first prototypes to be ready by Spring 2019.