US Army To Get Mobile Air Defense Strykers by 2020

The US Army down selected Leonardo DRS to provide the Stryker A1 based interim, mobile short range air defense for the Stryker brigade teams. Illustration: Leonardo DRS

Facing a growing aerial threat from unmanned systems, rockets, artillery, and mortars, the U.S. Army is accelerating the fielding of an Interim, Mobile Short Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) system to complement the tactical formations of its Stryker brigades. Leonardo DRS, Inc. was selected to provide such IM-SHORAD Mission Equipment Package (MEP) for installation Stryker A1 vehicles. The package includes onboard radar system, a turreted weapon system mounting missiles, guns, and non-kinetic (jammers and Electronic attack) capabilities. This system will provide the “detect-identify-track-defeat” capability required to defeat UAS, rotary-wing and fixed-wing threats.

The system, developed by Leonardo DRS’s Land Systems business unit, integrates mature technologies from industry teammates and partners, including Moog’s Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP), Raytheon’s Stinger missiles and Rada’s Multi-mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR). The IM-SHORAD solution provides both hard and soft kill capabilities to the warfighter while minimizing impacts on the mobility of the Stryker. Leonardo DRS expects to receive the prototype contract in August of this year.

“We understand the challenges associated with an accelerated acquisition strategy and will leverage our recent successes with counter-UAS to meet the Army’s schedule,” said Aaron Hankins, Vice President, and General Manager, DRS Land Systems. This down-select decision is part of the Army’s IM-SHORAD effort to deliver prototypes in 2019. Nine prototype systems will inform a future production decision buying of 144 IM-SHORAD systems by fiscal 2022, enough to equip up to four Stryker battalion task forces.

The MHR radar, when integrated on the Stryker A1 platform, meets the US Army’s onboard sensor requirements and provides 360-degree aerial surveillance to detect and track Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS), rotary wing and fixed wing threats at desired ranges. Each IM-SHORAD MEP includes four MHR radars which provide persistent surveillance, can execute at the short halt and operate on-the-move. The MHR has already been integrated to performed with high energy laser in counter-UAS applications.

The unique RIwP turret supports multiple weapon configurations to give tactical commanders flexibility to use the IM-SHORAD for ground-to-air lethality as well as the precision ground-to-ground fire, necessary to fight across a multi-domain battlefield. The weapons considered for the IM-SHORAD MEP include Stinger VSHORAD guided missiles, Hellfire/Longbow guided missiles and direct fire weapons – an M230 30mm chain gun and 7.62mm machine gun.

Through the assessment phase, the Army also evaluated a hybrid of a Stryker with a Boeing Avenger turret but favored the more compact, protected and versatile MEP offered by Leonardo DRS.