How capable are SHORADs?

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hornetfinn

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Unread post26 Mar 2020, 13:23

It seems like many Western countries are going with these layers:

1. Weapons from APCs, IFVs and even MBTs. Especially the 30-40 mm autocannons are effective against tactical UAVs, helos and even attack aircraft. Naturally these have pretty short range and are necessarily not well integrated to AD network. But good thing is that there are a lot of them and they are effective with modern sights and FCS. SPAAGs are naturally more effective but they are very expensive and don't have much better range.

2. MANPADS with man-portable launchers and/or vehicle mounted launchers. These have somewhat better range and altitude coverage than autocannons, are easy to employ and are also cheap.

3. Short- to medium range system. Examples are NASAMS-2, IRIS-T SLS/SLM, Spyder-SR/MR. Some can be classed as SHORAD and some are hybrid SHORAD and MRAD systems.

4. Long range systems like Patriot or SAMP/T. A lot of emphasis has been put to ballistic missile defence for these, but of course they are very capable of shooting down aircraft and helos as well.

Of course there are also dedicated ABM systems like THAAD and C-RAM systems for defending certain high-value targets.
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boogieman

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Unread post26 Mar 2020, 21:55

A very good synopsis, although it is important (and more than a little concerning) to note that US ground forces had essentially dispensed with any form of SHORAD capability to protect land based maneuver until very recently. It is only now that Stinger is returning along with M-SHORAD, which is itself more of an interim solution. Such is the effect of ~30 years without a credible enemy airforce to worry about I guess.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post26 Mar 2020, 22:29

boogieman wrote:A very good synopsis, although it is important (and more than a little concerning) to note that US ground forces had essentially dispensed with any form of SHORAD capability to protect land based maneuver until very recently. It is only now that Stinger is returning along with M-SHORAD, which is itself more of an interim solution. Such is the effect of ~30 years without a credible enemy airforce to worry about I guess.

I don't know about that, back in the 90s I got to fiddle with a HMMWV that had a turret on top with 4 stingers and a M2 when it visited my High School. The controller (removed from the vehicle) was an IR imaging system that let me see the cold of my nose on my face.
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boogieman

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Unread post26 Mar 2020, 23:23

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I don't know about that, back in the 90s I got to fiddle with a HMMWV that had a turret on top with 4 stingers and a M2 when it visited my High School. The controller (removed from the vehicle) was an IR imaging system that let me see the cold of my nose on my face.


The Avenger? Gone from regular formations until recently :shock:

https://youtu.be/14LMmBsDw-g?t=1124

As I have said in other posts, the US has all the technology it needs to field a world beating GBAD (not just BMD) network, but it seems as though this area was allowed to languish somewhat during the 90s and COIN focused 2000's. If it was up to me, an IADS based around mobile, land based SM6 Blk IB, SM2 Blk IIIC (kill off PAC2), AMRAAM-ER/ESSM BlkII (NASAMS?) and M-SHORAD ought to tick all the boxes.

Keep THAAD and PAC3 around for BMD if necessary, but I think a lot could be accomplished by mating a ~4 cell Mk41 VLS to an appropriate truck chassis, pairing it with the LTAMDS and then plugging the lot into IBCS. Unfortunately I don't think the money is there though... :?
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weasel1962

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Unread post27 Mar 2020, 03:18

Stingers help against the proliferation of squad level UAVs which is a relatively recent thing.
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marauder2048

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Unread post27 Mar 2020, 08:07

boogieman wrote: We are set to adopt NASAMS2 in Australia, and it is being viewed chiefly as a SHORAD system in that it is there to support Army maneuver. That may change if AMRAAM-ER gets integrated.


Somehow an Australian effort to replace "aging" MANPADS ended up with a multi-vehicle system
and a missile that has to be truck-mounted and requires at least four men to deadlift.

The standard loadout for NASAMS is AIM-120. It's what everyone buys. Including Australia.

AFAIK, no one has bought the AIM-9X because the only one worth buying (because of the datalink)
is Block II which isn't much cheaper than AIM-120. And it takes up the same amount of room in the canister

Ground launched, AIM-120C7 has a range minimum of like 2 km.

A major point of SHORAD is to cover range/altitude minima of other GBAD layers.

Now I suppose if you are going to have no other GBAD layer, like Australia, then whatever you have is vacuously SHORAD.


boogieman wrote:- Not so sure about AWACS being unable to provide fire control quality track to an ARH weapon as that is precisely what is being pursued through efforts like NIFC-CA (ref E2D paired with SM6). Older E3 derivatives might struggle but more modern ESA designs like E2D and E7 ought to have a decent shot at it.


SM-6 has a 13.5 inch aperture. That's the reason that pairing works.

boogieman wrote:- Fair point on payload. I am assuming a 1 for 1 swap moving from Hellfire/JAGM to Spike NLOS but this may not be a safe assumption -


It's a 2-for-1 swap. It's not unreasonable to assume that Active Protection Systems will make their
way onto SHORAD systems; at the ranges we've been discussing I wouldn't expect NLOS to be moving that
fast terminally. Not bashing the weapon just pointing out it's no panacea.

The preference in SEAD is speed; if the son-of-Sidearm proves difficult to develop/get on something
runway independent then artillery/MLRS/SRBM approaches should (in general) be preferred since many of the smart
munitions/warheads they can or will carry have less utility against MBTs but will be useful against GBAD vehicles.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post27 Mar 2020, 08:42

I think only Israel of all Western countries has truly good GBAD systems. Of course that is also helped with the small land area. But they have all layers covered pretty well but they also don't seem to really have SHORAD systems. They do have MANPADS and then mostly medium to long range systems (Iron Dome, David's Sling and Patriot) as well as ABM system in Arrow. Interestingly it seems like they don't use Spyder themselves which could be categorized as SHORAD system in Spyder-SR form.

Finland also has pretty good short range AD systems in Stinger, RBS-70, Marksman SPAAG, Crotale NG and NASAMS. Currently we are also going to buy longer range and higher altitude capability. That might be just AMRAAM-ER for our NASAMS systems or it could be something like SAMP/T or Patriot. Of course the numbers are rather small to cover the fairy large land area.
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boogieman

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Unread post27 Mar 2020, 08:49

marauder2048 wrote:Somehow an Australian effort to replace "aging" MANPADS ended up with a multi-vehicle system
and a missile that has to be truck-mounted and requires at least four men to deadlift...

The standard loadout for NASAMS is AIM-120. It's what everyone buys. Including Australia.

AFAIK, no one has bought the AIM-9X because the only one worth buying (because of the datalink)
is Block II which isn't much cheaper than AIM-120. And it takes up the same amount of room in the canister

Ground launched, AIM-120C7 has a range minimum of like 2 km.

A major point of SHORAD is to cover range/altitude minima of other GBAD layers.

Now I suppose if you are going to have no other GBAD layer, like Australia, then whatever you have is vacuously SHORAD.

I am loosely classifying NASAMS as SHORAD based on the max range of a ground launched AIM120 which - as you have acknowledged - is the mainstay of its missile arsenal. It is true that our GBAD capability has long been quite farcical, but that is steadily changing with AIR6500 also in the pipeline, and Army looking hard at VSHORAD/C-RAM possibilities (eg. Skyranger on Boxer 8x8).
marauder2048 wrote:SM-6 has a 13.5 inch aperture. That's the reason that pairing works.

I was under the impression that SM6 used an adapted AIM120C seeker, albeit possibly scaled up for the larger missile...
marauder2048 wrote:It's a 2-for-1 swap. It's not unreasonable to assume that Active Protection Systems will make their
way onto SHORAD systems; at the ranges we've been discussing I wouldn't expect NLOS to be moving that
fast terminally. Not bashing the weapon just pointing out it's no panacea.

Not claiming it to be one either, just a potentially handy bit of kit. I imagine the US Army will be getting answers about just how handy as they test it out on Apache. Bear in mind that with a peak velocity of ~Mach 1, Hellfire and JAGM aren't setting any speed records either.
marauder2048 wrote:The preference in SEAD is speed; if the son-of-Sidearm proves difficult to develop/get on something runway independent then artillery/MLRS/SRBM approaches should (in general) be preferred since many of the smart munitions/warheads they can or will carry have less utility against MBTs but will be useful against GBAD vehicles.

Enter PRSM, GLSDB etc. No argument with the above.
Last edited by boogieman on 27 Mar 2020, 12:01, edited 3 times in total.
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weasel1962

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Unread post27 Mar 2020, 09:21

Iron Dome = Israel's SHORAD. Most effective.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post27 Mar 2020, 09:31

weasel1962 wrote:Iron Dome = Israel's SHORAD. Most effective.


Oh yes you are correct. I didn't check and just went from (bad) memory. It's definitely SHORAD system and probably the most combat proven modern system. It seems to be marketed as C-RAM system only but I see nothing that would make it unsuitable against aircraft and helicopters.
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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 08:43

I think it's important to make the point that SHORAD means different different things to different people. In the context of US military it probably doesn't mean defending against traditional fixed wing tactical/rotary wing aircraft. Getting strafted by SU-25 or being on the receiving end of hellebore assault is just not seen as probable scenarios. The focus appear to be more reliable expeditionary C-RAM/cruise missile defense on more or less fixed sites, and mobile, cost effective anti small UAS at even the lowest organization level.

Systems like Tor Aka SA-15 exemplify the kind US isn't interested in. One that is very much focused on traditional aircrafts supposedly with some capabilities against PGMs(with demonstrated performance against airliner :doh: ). Built from ground up to be able to operate independently in degraded mode, in an all in one package mounted on all terrain chassis.

I'm not intimately familiar on the subject but as layed out by hornetfinn, Finland as a country that may need to tackle opponents way beyond its own weight class also has air defense needs markedly different from US, filled by systems with very different technical characteristics.

Iron dome meets Israeli need of an as watertight as possible C-RAM wall against asymmetrical threat. But it probably won't be a worthwhile investment for South Korea for example, despite technically also facing indirect fire threats. Of course given their situation you can argue no current active defense system is. For hypothetical US case it might also be too expensive for C-RAM need, my hunch feeling is that a lower cost semi active, much lighter interceptor with less defended area and single shot Pk is what they're looking for. While Irondome is also not offering the breadth on the high end for reliable cruise missile defense. I see it as a case of a country that's really driven to deliver a very tailored solution to a problem few others have.
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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 08:51

US Army is currently focused on the maneuver-SHORAD or M-Shorad program. Iron dome is funded under the IFPC program where 12 units are funded in FY 19 followed by a planned further 12 (FY22) and 36 each year (FY24 & FY25) so that's not hypothetical. The IFPC name may be changed.
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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 09:12

weasel1962 wrote:US Army is currently focused on the maneuver-SHORAD or M-Shorad program. Iron dome is funded under the IFPC program where 12 units are funded in FY 19 followed by a planned further 12 (FY22) and 36 each year (FY24 & FY25) so that's not hypothetical. The IFPC name may be changed.


Full disclosure I was actually not aware of army Irondome contract prior to this but a (very)quick google also got me this:
https://missilethreat.csis.org/us-army- ... -adoption/

So, I dunno? But then a google later it also appear Marine is "interested", but I haven't dug deep enough to find out for sure if anything is on contract.

Again my hunch feeling if Irondome interceptor is not straight plug and play to IBCS Army's not buying. I don't see them interested in buying sensor and battle management bundled then adapt to strategically mobile and tactically relocatable configuration. And Marine has incentives to follow Army where they can on big ticket stuff.

Speaking of M-SHORAD it's really dirt cheap with particular C-UAS focus and kinda versatile in ground combat, in contrast to proper full range SPAAA.
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Unread post02 Apr 2020, 09:45

Okay now I figured it out a bit better now, they're buying for 1 year and scrapped what they can, and they're buying the initial lot as is. Probably the exact thing they want to avoid in the IBCS any sensor any shooter ecosystem. How the 2 of a kind batteries will live out their service(?) life I wonder...
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