General Dynamics to build U.S. Army Short Range Air Defense System

A business unit of General has secured a potential five-year, $1.22B contract from the U.S. Army to manufacture and test systems that are designed to destroy, neutralize or deter low-altitude aerial threats.
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The IM-SHORAD air defense system is mounted on a Stryker A1 (Picture source: U.S. Army)

General Dynamics Land Systems will provide Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense systems to the military service, the Department of Defense said on Sept. 30. The U.S. Army designated GDLS as the platform integrator for the IM-SHORAD program. In October 2019, the company unveiled a prototype of the new air defense system on an armored vehicle during the annual Association of the U.S. Army trade show.

GDLS said at the time its Stryker A1 IM-SHORAD vehicle is equipped with a 30mm cannon and designed to fire Hellfire and Stinger missiles.

The goal of the IM-SHORAD (Interim Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense) program is to provide tactical ground units with improved air defense capabilities against emerging threats. In order to provide a next-generation protection capability to forward-deployed units, the U.S. Army’s IM-SHORAD solution will feature an integrated suite of mission systems including radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sighting system, electronic warfare package as well as non-lethal and lethal effects including Hellfire rockets; Stinger missiles; and a 30 mm XM91 cannon.

During AUSA 2019, the United States Army defense exhibition that was held in Washington D.C. in October 2019, General Dynamics Land Systems unveiled the Stryker A1 IM-SHORAD. This combination will provide a 360° air-defense protection through a mix of guns, missiles, rockets, and onboard sensors. The Stryker platform was chosen because it offers the possibility of integrating a directed energy weapon.

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A Stryker A1 IM-SHORAD firing a Longbow Hellfire missile (Picture source: U.S. Army)

The Stryker A1 IM-SHORAD unveiled by the American Company General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is fitted with a turret armed with Longbow Hellfire and Stinger missiles launchers. The AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire is the latest Hellfire derivate featuring a millimeter-wave guidance system and fire-and-forget capability. The Longbow Hellfire was designed to be launched from the radar-equipped AH-64D Longbow Apache attack helicopter increasing its survivability thanks to its fire-and-forget capability. The Stinger is a surface-to-air missile having an outward targeting range of up to 4,800 m (15,700 feet) and able to engage low-altitude enemy threats at up to 3,800 m (12,500 feet).

The secondary armament includes an XM914 30 mm automatic cannon and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. With all these weapons, the vehicle is able to destroy unmanned aerial systems as well as fixed-wing and rotary-wing threats.

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