As Russia and other adversaries stock up on drones, rockets, and missiles, the US Army is building up defenses to shoot them down. But that Short-Range Air Defense force has been devastated by a decade of cuts. The service’s plan to revive SHORAD involves
- deploying to Europe about 50 more of its current Avenger systems, Humvees mounting multiple Stinger missiles;
- developing requirements for new “Maneuver SHORAD” equipment — such as lasers mounted on armored vehicles to keep up with frontline units — for which an Initial Capabilities Document is expected out by April;
- and ultimately quadrupling the SHORAD force — if funding can be found — to put air defenders in every Army division and combat brigade, both active-duty and National Guard.
There’s a real sense of urgency, said Col. Greg Brady, head of the Fires Division on the Army staff. “Within 12 months we have got to get capability back,”said Brady, speaking along with McKiernan at a recent Association of the US Army conference. “The No. 1 priority for capacity, the shortfall for the Army, is on air and missile defense.”