02 Mar Interim short-range air defense solution to be Stryker-based
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army will likely use Stryker combat vehicles paired with sensors and shooters for its interim Manuever-Short-Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) solution, the program executive officer for missiles and space confirmed.
The service is looking to make decisions on what might be integrated onto a Stryker platform for such a solution later this year, Barry Pike told Defense News at an Association of the U.S. Army missile defense forum Feb. 28.
It’s been well over a year since U.S. Army Europe sounded the alarm over a glaring SHORAD capability gap. The service did not have the appropriate capability to go up against small drones observed on the Ukrainian border by the Russian military, nor would it continue to enjoy the air dominance it’s had against adversaries in the last 15 years of war.
The service let its SHORAD capability atrophy as it prioritized a different kind of fight in the Middle East.
Taking heed of warnings coming from theater, the Army has moved full speed ahead to fill the gap, rapidly deploying a rotational Army National Guard Avenger battery to Europe and fielding man-portable air defense systems with Stinger missiles to units.