Monday, April 01, 2013

Air Defense Artillery. Out of style? Definitely out of balance.

Video from the THINK DEFENSE Blog.

The Marine Corps is lucky.  It can operate under the US Navy's anti-missile shield when conducting amphibious operations.  The larger the operation, the greater the shield.

The US Army isn't quite so lucky.  When conducting high speed, aggressive actions, its left with depending on USAF interdiction strikes or MLRS locating and killing missiles before they can be used against ground forces.

If you watched the video above then you'll notice one thing.  Probably the only true thing about the video.

A Stryker Brigade doesn't have integrated air defense capabilities.

The closest we've seen to that is the Canadian ADATS.

As it currently stands, the Stryker Brigade might be faster than a Heavy but it has at least this one capability hole.

Strategic missile defense is one thing, but battlefield missile defense is important too.


  1. Btw there is no missile defense that can protect against MLRS strike. Beam anti-missile defenses times is yet to come.

    MLRS, cruise missiles, short range ballistic missiles (SCUD), only effective against large(ships) or static targets, usually well protected by air defenses, without gaps to missiles to pass through unlike it was shown on the video.

    Patrolling fighters can also detect and intercept cruise missiles in flight, thus providing additional protection for any kind of friendly target in the area.

    Mobile armored groups, deployed not on entirely flat terrain is a hard target for any cruise missile, especially if enemy doesn't have air superiority to deploy UAV for targeting.

    Most likely such armored group will encounter IED&RPGs.

    Or rogue AT-chopper at extremely low altitude, hiding in bushes and hills -- in this case anti-air vehicle with effective range >5 km really can be useful.

  2. I dont understand why this gap exists.There are off the shelf systems for this,but the army just looks the outher way.The ground version of the AMRAAM is one choice and Boeing is proposing a turret that can be fitted in any vehicle.The Avenger can fire rockets,Hellfires,Javelins,Stingers,AIM-9X and can even have a laser...

  3. I used to work for range control on a range built for stingers/avengers. I was shocked at how often both systems, especially the avengers failed to fire when the trigger was pulled. Nor was I impressed at how long it usually took to acquire a target that was flying a lazy figure eight 300 or so meters in front of the firing line. That experience has led me to believe that both systems last ditch, feel good, systems which are more for moral and political CYA than anything else. Just my 2 cents and worth as much.

    1. Sooo,what you are saying is that the russians can develop efective SAM systems but the USA cant?

    2. Nuno, don't know the answer to your question, just reporting what I have personally observed.

    3. Apples and Oranges.

      The USSR developed and depends on a very robust IADS network because it HAS to. The Allied powers have always dominated in the air so the Warsaw Pact nations has to have a way of achieving balance.
      The US (and her allies) have some very good SAM/AAA systems, just not as mobile as WP systems. THAAD, MEADS, PAC-3MSE, Patriot, etc are just some the ones we use now.

      The reason why the DoD has not spent money on mobile SHORAD systems is that there was not a pressing need.

      There are several systems in use and in development that protect installations against cruise missile attack. CWIS/CRAM systems are currently in use in Afghanistan & Iraq. Lockheed recently has demonstrated a vertical launch interceptor that can handle massed missile & shell attacks and the ADAM anti-missile/UAS laser system.

      Lockheed EAPS

  4. Well ,thats one more reason to invest in such tech,before the gap gets even bigger...
    But you are right in one thing:if these systems are needed ,then something as gone very wrong...

  5. but the Air Force will always dominate airspace, right?

    With the stand-off range of most smart munitions, I don't think most of the reason anti-aircraft weapons like Chaparral, Vulcan, Avenger/Stinger, etc. are even relevant.

    AT-16 Scallion or 9A4172 Vikhr has a range of 8-10km and so does the Chinese HJ-10. You would need SLAMRAAM or NASAMs to defend formations at those ranges.

    Aside from the A-10 and the Russian Su-25 Frogfoot, there aren't any dedicated ground attack aircraft. As far as I know there are no new aircraft in the pipeline.

    Does the Army really need a SRAAM system?

    I think they do because considering the new Russian and Chinese aircraft, we may not have airspace dominance in the future and it makes sense to have the weapons and institutional knowledge now than need to start from scratch later.

    and if Army is looking for a way to be part of the 'Air-Sea' team, SAMs could be the glue.

  6. It's easier to saturate ground system, just because you can't move 200 Patriot PAC 3 on Ground battle... In contrary of moving an aegis frigate with your naval group.
    And even if you can, they can, as the aegis, be saturated by an massive attack :

    IE : you new other the top system based on CIWS for ground force, you have 4 system on your group... Will they resist in front of even one CAESAR or AMX AUF1 battery providing concentrated fire ??
    No You 'd better to bet on destroying the battery with airforce than SRAAM.
    At best you can resist to hezbolla..until you lack of ammo.

    1. Artillery is easy. cannon artillery that is. by the time they setup, do all the stake work or GPS work and then align the barrels to do a fire mission...its all in vain once they fire the first shot. fire direction will have them and they're busting butt to get out of dodge. either they'll get his with counter battery fire, missile fire or they'll be hunted by aircraft.

      its seriously reaching a point to where only Infantry is survivable on a modern battlefield and it has to be smart Infantry at that.


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