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US Army Deploys Its New M-SHORAD Air Defense Vehicle for the First Time During Exercise in Slovakia.

| Defense News Army 2024

The US Army has initiated active defense missions using its new state-of-the-art Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system (M-SHORAD) for the first time during a field military exercise at Lest Training Area in Slovakia, as reported by "Stars and Stripes" on December 28, 2023.
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U.S. Army Deploys for the first time its M-SHORAD Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system during its first operational exercise at Lest Training Area in Slovakia. (Photo by Spc. Adrian Greenwood 7th Army Training Command)

The M-SHORAD, a key component in revamping the Army's short-range air defense capabilities, is operated by the U.S. soldiers of Able Battery’s 1st Platoon, belonging to the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. This unit falls under the dual command of the 52nd Air Defense Artillery Brigade and the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, both based in Germany.

Able Battery’s 1st Platoon, along with its two sister platoons stationed in Poland and Romania, marks the first operational use of the M-SHORAD in active defense roles. This deployment underscores a strategic shift in the US Army's approach to air defense, particularly in light of emerging threats and tactical developments observed in regions like Ukraine and the Middle East. The M-SHORAD's deployment is seen as a direct response to growing concerns over adversaries such as Russia and China, signaling a significant enhancement in the US Army's defense capabilities.

The US Army's Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense, commonly known as M-SHORAD, represents a cutting-edge solution to the modern challenges posed by enemy drones, helicopters, and low-flying aircraft. Mounted on the dynamic Stryker 8x8 armored vehicle, the M-SHORAD system offers unparalleled mobility and agility, providing essential air defense to ground forces against a diverse array of aerial dangers.

At its core, the M-SHORAD features exceptional mobility, thanks to its integration with the 8-wheeled Stryker A1. This enables rapid repositioning in combat zones, offering a continuously adaptive air defense shield. The system is adept at countering various threats, including cruise missiles, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), fast-moving fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters. Its primary function as a short-range, shoot-on-the-move air defense weapon is to safeguard maneuvering ground units from airborne assaults, ensuring their safety as they traverse conflict areas.

The M-SHORAD's armament and technological suite are formidable. It includes a versatile RiwP (Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform) Turret adaptable to different weapons, a Stinger missile launcher for engaging targets at short to medium distances, and the advanced MX-GCS EO/IR system for accurate target identification and tracking. Additionally, the system is equipped with a potent XM914 30mm autocannon tailored for airborne targets, an M240 7.62 mm machine gun for close-range defense, and four Stinger surface-to-air missiles for precision engagement of air threats. To enhance operational safety and efficiency, the M-SHORAD incorporates an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Antenna to minimize friendly fire incidents, and a sophisticated radar for comprehensive target detection and tracking.

Defense News January 2024

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