Thursday, March 4, 2021

Featured News

Awed With Chinese & Turkish Drones, US Pours In Billions Of Dollars To Develop ‘Drone Killers’: WATCH

Drones or unmanned vehicles are becoming a major threat as more and more countries are developing and relying on it. The latest conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia also saw extensive use of drones.

Japanese F35s, US Navy Display Their ‘Muscle Power’ Amid Chinese Belligerence In The Indo-Pacific

Thus, with the imminent threat of drones, it is important to be able to defend against them in case of a confrontation. While the US Defence forces boast air superiority with its most advanced and lethal fighter jets, it has recognised its deficiency in its short-range air-defence (SHORAD) capability.

“Since 2005, there has been a dramatic increase in air and missile platforms that could threaten US ground forces. The use of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) has increased exponentially, and UASs have been used successfully by both sides in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. Furthermore, fixed-wing aircraft, attack helicopters, and cruise missiles continue to pose a significant threat to US ground forces.,” stated the Congressional Research Service in 2018.

As a result, Congress has already poured billions of dollars to materialise the Initial Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD). General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), who is partnering with Leonardo DRS and Raytheon was awarded a $1.2 billion contract.

Reportedly, the Army’s initial order is for 28 vehicles, $230 million, however, it plans to acquire 180 such IM-SHORAD Stryker systems.

The IM-SHORAD is an air defence artillery to counter threats from UAS and other Rotary and Fixed Wing aircraft. 

According to the official document by the Congress Research Committee, the Army requires Stryker combat vehicle as its chassis with an unmanned turret which will include: two Hellfire missiles capable of hitting the ground and air targets; four Stinger missiles for less-well armoured aerial targets in a launcher; a 30mm automatic cannon; a 7.62 mm machine gun; electronic warfare (EW) package to counter selected enemy systems; and a Rada (Israeli) multi-mission radar capable of tracking both ground and air targets.

However, while the US Army is closing to acquire the weaponry, it is reportedly facing several technical issues before the Army can induct it in service. 

The platform went through technological issues including the integration of a 30 mm cannon and Stinger missile system with the platform, reported Janes. 

“The accelerated nature of the programme, in order to deploy the critical capabilities to the warfighter, presents unique challenges for us to get the capabilities to the warfighter,” Lieutenant Colonel Beau Barker, the M-SHORAD product manager inside the Program Executive Office (PEO) Missiles and Space, told Janes.

“A specific technical challenge is integrating mature weapon systems such as the M299 launcher, Stinger missile system and 30mm cannon,” he added. “Even though each component is mature by itself, they have to be integrated to work as a system.”

David Hambling of the Forbes recalled the bad fate of DIVAD (Division Air Defense), also called Sergeant York, a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on M48 Patton tank featuring twin radar-directed Bofors 40 mm rapid-fire guns. It suffered several obstacles in the development and was ultimately shelved in 1985, eight years after the development began, costing $1.8 billion.

“The radar, designed for air-to-air combat, had difficulty with clutter at ground level and mistook trees waving in the wind as targets. During one test it locked onto a latrine fan; in another trial the fire-control computer aimed the guns at a stand full of watching VIPs, resulting in minor injuries as they scrambled for cover. In one test a target drone had to fly over 18 times before Sergeant York could bring it down,” recalled Hambling in his report.

He concluded that even if SHORAD-IM is successful and is received by 2023, as planned, the world would have moved on in terms of the threat it will face since the program was adopted in 2015.

Featured News

Watch: Has India Signed A Deal With Israel To Procure Hermes 900 Drones From Elbit Systems?

The Israeli defense electronics company, Elbit Systems, has been awarded a $300-million contract to supply Hermes 900 tactical drones to "a country in Asia",...

F16 vs SU-30MKI: This Is How Indian Sukhoi Jets Counterattacked Pak Formation Of F-16 Jets During 2019 Air Combat

Recently, both India and Pakistan commemorated the second anniversary of February 2019 aerial skirmishes in their own ways. Indian Experts claim that the Sukhoi...

Not Russian S-400 Missiles, But This Weapon Could Be The Biggest Threat To US’ F-35 Jets

Cyber attacks and not the Russian S-400 missiles could be the biggest threat to the US' most-advanced F-35 stealth fighter jet, also called the...

Why Did Indian Army Select Prithvi Missiles To Strike Pakistan After The Deadly 2019 Aerial Skirmish?

India's Modi government had reportedly ordered the army to deploy homegrown Prithvi ballistic missiles in the Rajasthan sector bordering Pakistan when Indian Air Force...

Which Are The Four Tactical Drones That Are In Race To Replace US Military’s RQ-7 Shadow?

The US Army is currently testing four drones to replace its tactical reconnaissance unmanned air vehicle (UAV), the Textron RQ-7 Shadow. The US military has...