Thursday, March 10, 2016

Air Defense is back in style in the US Army

The Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept, IFPC Inc 2-I, Block 1 program is a new missile-based system currently in development by the Army's Cruise Missile Defense Systems, CMDS, Project Office part of the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space. While still in the early stages, the IFPC Inc 2-I Block 1 program is coming together to become a next generation short and medium range air defense system with a wide and expandable mission set.

"The IFPC Inc 2-I program is designed to engage a variety of threats, ranging from cruise missiles and unmanned aerial systems, to rockets, artillery, and mortars," said LTC Michael Fitzgerald, IFPC Inc 2-I, Product Manager.

The Army is looking at placing more short-range air-defense capabilities in brigade combat teams (BCT).
For more than two decades, the Army has neglected the short-range threat and focused instead on missiles, said Maj. Gen. John G. Rossi, commanding general of the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was part of a panel discussion, Feb. 11, at a day-long Association of the U.S. Army-sponsored Hot Topics forum on Air and Missile Defense.
Desert Storm, 25 years ago, brought the Patriot missile defense systems into prominence, Rossi said.
"As we made Patriot better and we focused on it, in essence the Air Defense community migrated to what became a point-defense branch, a missile defense branch," Rossi said.
"We took the 'A' out of Air and Missile Defense in many ways," he said. "We didn't think we really needed to focus on it."
SHORAD or Short-Range Air Defense battalions were deactivated. "We took all short-range air defense out of the architecture as we focused on missile defense," Rossi said, adding "that's caught up to us."

Now the proliferation of small, unmanned aircraft is forcing commanders to reassess the need for SHORAD capabilities to combat low-altitude threats.
"We've got to find a game changer," Rossi said, alluding to the need to find more affordable and lethal air-defense systems.
"We have to change the scenario or change the equation so it's more costly to attack than to defend," he said. "We've got to build to the future."
Since all Generals are politicians first and warriors second, or third, maybe fourth and more realistically fifth, we can assume that this seemingly powerful statement doesn't tell the whole story.

Come to your own conclusions, but I'm hoping that the USMC is monitoring the Army's work.

Side note:  Does the use of sidewinder missiles to shoot down mortars and artillery shells seem like overkill/wasteful/inefficient?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.