The U.S. Army has begun fielding its first new short-range air defense system in decades. The first units of the Mobile Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) system will be delivered to the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (5-4 ADA), a subordinate unit under the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
The M-SHORAD, which integrates existing guns, missiles, rockets, and sensors onto an 8×8 Stryker A1 vehicle platform, is the Army’s newest addition in a variety of modernization efforts. It is designed to defend maneuvering forces against unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing, and residual fixed-wing threats.
The turret is also equipped with a 30mm M230 automatic cannon paired with a 7.62-mm machine gun, a two-shot launcher AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missiles, and a four-round FIM-92 Stinger heat-seeking surface-to-air missile launcher, as well as an electro-optical unit for detecting and tracking targets.
Cannon-machine gun armament and both types of missiles are designed to destroy aerial targets. Four small fixed-position RADA active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radars have been installed to spot and track air targets.
“This is truly a testament to our Army’s commitment to increase air and missile defense capability and capacity to the joint force, and especially here in Europe,” said Brig. Gen. Gregory J. Brady, Commander of the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
“Just under three years ago 5-4 ADA was the Army’s first SHORAD battalion activated in almost 13 years, and now they are proud again to be the first to lead the Army’s Air and Missile Defense modernization initiatives with M-SHORAD. The 10th AAMDC is proud to be a part of this Team effort and remains engaged, postured, and ready to assure, deter, and defend the maneuver force in an increasingly complex Integrated Air and Missile Defense environment, shoulder to shoulder with our NATO Allies.”
General Dynamics Land Systems received a $1.2 million contract to integrate the Leonardo DRS’s M-SHORAD system onto an unspecified number of 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles.
The project was completed in less than a year, down from the predicted four years initially which started in 2018. Thanks to rapid prototyping, these first prototype M-SHORAD systems will be put through their paces over a 6-month evaluation exercise at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.