The U.S. Army’s newest Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) system is making its debut at military exercise Saber Strike in Estonia.
According to the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, the new short-range air defense system has destroyed a drone target over the Gulf of Finland during a live-fire demonstration for exercise Saber Strike 22 in Rutja, Estonia on March 10, 2022.
The exercise runs through March with approximately 13,000 participants from 13 countries and has been held every 2 years since 2010. The training event is scheduled during winter to demonstrate the ability to operate in austere conditions.
“This is the exercise debut of the four prototype M-SHORAD platforms which will fill a critical capability for the Army, providing air defense for maneuver forces,” the news release says.
M-SHORAD is a Stryker-mounted air defense platform, providing the Army with a replacement to the legacy Avenger system. Better armored, better armed, and more mobile than the system it’s replacing the M-SHORAD is going to provide the Soldier with a flexible air defense solution that can keep up with a unit on the move, closing out a vulnerability as the use of low altitude threats like helicopters and small drones is on the rise.
The M-SHORAD system represents more than just a new weapon system, it’s also an example of the Army’s new rapid acquisition cycle in action. In the past the development of a new system has been a long process that could easily take a decade to start to generate results. M-SHORAD, by comparison only took a few years to go from initial shootoff and selection to a finished product deliverable to the Soldier.