U.S. Army to unveil first IM-SHORAD prototype in October

The U.S. Army will take the opportunity at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington D.C. to unveil a new air and missile defense Stryker variant that will be further developed to harden ground forces in Europe from Russian threats.

Over the past 15 years, the Army inactivated many of its Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) units because leaders didn’t see a compelling need for them. Then the Russians showed what they could do in Ukraine, attacking with drones, rockets and missiles, and setting up considerable anti-access, aerial denial.

The Inside Defense reported Thursday, citing program manager for cruise missile defense systems Col. Chuck Worshim, that first Initial-Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense vehicle will be on display at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) exhibition in October.

The new air defense system, called the IM-SHORAD, will be integrated on the Stryker A1 platform, will provide maneuver Brigade Combat Teams with a full “detect-identify-track-defeat” capability required to defeat Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), rotary-wing and fixed-wing threats.

The new combat system includes kinetic and non-kinetic defeat capabilities and an on-board radar that would provide 360-degree air defense protection of the Stryker and Armor Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) throughout the range of military operations.

In a recent notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the service asked industry proposals in regards to an ability to deliver 144 IM-SHORAD systems with deliveries beginning in the fiscal year 2020 and final deliveries in 2024.

According to the current information, the U.S. Army expects to receive the first 36 Stryker-based air defense systems in FY21, and between 36-72 units per year in FY22 and FY23. Follow on battalions will be equipped with enhanced effectors such as a laser or improved missile.

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