New mobile SHORAD air defense system a priority for US Army
Air and Missile Defense is one of the top modernization priorities of United States Army including the acquisition of a new SHORAD (Short Range Air Defense) mobile system. Air and Missile Defense systems will include the ability to defeat missile threats against the U.S., the deployed forces and the allies and partners.
General Dynamics Stryker MSL at AUSA Association of the United States defense exhibition in Washington D.C., September 2017. (Picture source Army Recognition)
According to an article published on March 22, 2018 on the official website of the US Army, a maneuver system for short-range air defense (SHORAD) may be fielded five years faster than normal as the U.S. Army tests a new modernization process.
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. Under the legacy process, McIntire said that first battery wouldn't even have been fielded until at least 2025.
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.
In September 2017, during AUSA, the Association of the United States defense exhibition which takes place every year in Washington D.C., many U.S and foreign companies have presented different solutions of mobile SHORAD systems. In October 2017, a live demonstration was performed at White Sands Missile Range by the Maneuver Short Range Air Defense program allowed U.S. program officers to look at existing technology to help form the requirements for an interim solution to Army short range air defense while the Army develops a permanent system.
At AUSA 2017, General Dynamics Land Systems has presented its Stryker 8x8 armoured vehicle under the name of Stryker MSL fitted with a Boeing turret armed with Hellfire missiles. The Stryker MSL (Maneuver Short-range air defense Launcher) is a short-range Air Defense (SHORAD) solution that meets the U.S. Army's emerging operational need to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Rotary Wing (RW) and Cruise Missile (CM) threats.
The Stryker MSL is fitted with a Boeing unmanned turret mounted at the rear of the chassis, the original infantrymen compartment is replaced by a cargo area. The turret is armed with four AGM-114 Longbow Hellfire located on the right side and another pod with four launchers for Raytheon Stinger short range air defense missile.
Hanwha Defense Systems Hybrid BiHo at AUSA Association of the United States defense exhibition in Washington D.C., September 2017. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The South Korean Company Hanwha Defense Systems has showed its new M-SHORAD tracked armoured vehicle called Hybrid Biho, an upgraded version of the K30 Biho twin 30 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon was developed to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces for a highly mobile short range air defense system.
The Hybrid Biho keeps the original 30mm twin-gun turret of original version of the Biho but fitted with four additional LIG MANPADS (MAN-Portable Air-Defense Systems), two launchers mounted on each side of the turret, armed with Chiron guided missiles.
The Chiron missile features an integral Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, full night and adverse weather capabilities, and a two-color infrared seeker to aid in negating countermeasures. It has a 7 km maximum target range and flies at a maximum altitude of 3.5 km and maximum speed of Mach 2.1.
Oshkosh Defense JLTV fitted with Boeing air defense turret at AUSA Association of the United States defense exhibition in Washington D.C., September 2017. (Picture source Army Recognition)
American Company Oshkosh defense has used a modified version of its JLTV to offer a mobile SHORAD solution, fitted with a new short-range air defense weapon station manufactured by the Company Boeing. The the Boeing Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) Launcher is armed a M3P .50 cal machine gun, M299 launcher with four Longbow Hellfire missiles, sensor suite, and fitted with a communications suite including a Thales VRC-111.
The AGM-114 Hellfire is a family of 100 lbs class laser guided missiles for use against fixed and moving targets by both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft including UAVs.
The LONGBOW system employs fire-and-forget LONGBOW HELLFIRE AGM-114L missiles that can be launched from defilade, increasing battlefield survivability. The LONGBOW HELLFIRE missile locks on targets before or after launch and has been used in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. It has an operational range from 500 m to 8 km.
BAE Systems Bradley M-SHORAD at AUSA Association of the United States defense exhibition in Washington D.C., September 2017. (Picture source Army Recognition)
BAE Systems showcased new M-SHORAD (Mobile Short-Range Air Defence) solution mounted on Bradley M2A3 tracked armoured IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) at AUSA 2017, the Association of United States Army Exhibition and Conference in Washington D.C.
The turret is equipped with three type of weapons which can be used against drones, and different aerial threats as helicopters and low-flying aircraft. To fight the drones, the Bradley M-SHORAD is fitted with radio interference systems mounted on the top of the turret.
the M-SHORAD Bradley was equipped with a pod including four launchers for Stinger missiles as the Avenger AN/TWQ-1, an air defense vehicle using an HUMVEE chassis. The current production Stinger missiles are the RMP (reprogrammable microprocessor) FIM-92D and the Block I FIM-92E.
Second armament of the Bradley M-SHORAD includes one 30 mm caliber lightweight XM914 Bushmaster Chain Guns which can be used against aerial targets flying at very low altitude. The XM914 is an upgraded and modified version of the M230 30mm automatic chain gun mounted on Apache helicopter.