AUSA GLOBAL FORCE SYMPOSIUM: To counter MiGs, Sukhois, Hinds, and missiles, the US Army is rushing anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems into service up to five years ahead of its original schedule. The head of the Army’s Air & Missile Defense Cross Functional Team, Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire, told me here the goal is to build on today’s uneven defenses — a lot of Patriot and a little THAAD to kill ballistic and cruise missiles, a few Stingers to down aircraft — and create multiple overlapping layers of protection.
The next five years will see a steady drumbeat of new systems:
2020: The first battery of MSHORAD, highly mobile, lightly armored Stryker vehicles with anti-aircraft guns and missiles to protect mobile frontline forces from enemy helicopters and drones. That’s five years ahead of the original fielding date, 2025.
Late 2020 or early ’21: A new network link between Patriot and THAAD missile defense batteries, so Patriot can both protect THAAD from air attack and use THAAD’s longer range radar to find targets. This link was originally going to wait until the IBCS network was fielded in 2022 (below).