The US Army has a history of developing anti-aircraft systems. Their VADS (Vulcan Anti-Aircraft Defense System) combines an M61 Vulcan cannon with an M113 chassis. The VADS uses a lead-computing gunsight and an all-optical fire control system, and it is intended to fire snap shots at targets close to the ground. The MIM-72 Chaparral is a mobile ground-based air defense system incorporating an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile and a modified M548 Cargo Carrier chassis.
In the early 1990s, the US Army decided that the Duster was outdated and that the time to replace it was now. The first proposed replacement was the Sperry Vigilante, a six-barreled 37 mm Gatling gun. In the late 1950s, the Army decided that all gun-based systems were too outdated and were therefore unsuitable for operational use. However, by the mid-1990s, it was clear that the Duster wasn’t going anywhere.
The US Army decided to focus its anti-aircraft weapons development efforts on defending the U.S. from a DIVAD threat. At that time, the Army had put anti-aircraft weapons on a low priority list and was therefore giving them time to mature. By the late 1980s, the Army saw DIVAD as a threat and had skipped the traditional development period. As a result, the new missiles were based on off-the-shelf parts.
After the DIVAD threat, the Army focused on the M247 Sergeant York DIVAD
This system had twin 40 mm Gatling guns, and was considered a superior weapon system. Its development was stopped by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger because of its lack of affordability. It was later determined that all gun-based systems were obsolete, and a missile-based system was the best solution for the United States.
The US Air Force used the MIM-104 Patriot as a base for their SPAAG. The MIM-104 was an anti-aircraft system for the Army. The SPAAG was initially primarily an anti-aircraft weapon, but the Patriot was upgraded in the early 1980s to offer limited capability against tactical ballistic missiles. The MIM-104 was named “Patriot” for short. Its deployment began in 1982.
The AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel, a three-dimensional radar, is deployed with forward area air defense units of the U.S. Army. The AN/MPQ-64 uses an X-band range-gated pulse-doppler system. Its antenna uses phase-frequency electronic scanning technology to automatically acquire, track, and classify targets. It can detect targets as far away as 40 km, and it has a long range of up to 40 kilometers.
In addition to intercepting hostile aircraft, the ANG also provides a vital service to the military. The F-16AD is a multipurpose tactical fighter. It is capable of detecting and destroying small-arms or large-arms aircraft. It is also capable of conducting precision strikes against targets in the sky. Unlike its predecessor, the ANG concept is an evolutionary evolution of air defense systems. The mission is to protect the country from a hostile attack. Its modernization plans are designed to meet the needs of the present and future.
The Stryker Air Defense System is Part of the Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS)
The Stryker is fitted with a new turret and associated power generation and fire control systems. The turret has a four-round FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher and can be used to intercept incoming missiles, mortar projectiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. The system is part of an Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) that consists of a number of air defenses.
The IBCS has already been tested on a prototype scale and helped to establish communication between SHORAD and Patriot air defense systems, as well as between F-35A fighters and PAC-3 missiles. The next step is to develop the system on a larger scale. Another project is to integrate the IBCS with a mobile ground-based system known as the “Indestructible Shield” which can be integrated into the IBCS.
The IBCS is being developed as a unified system to communicate with the SPAAG
The IBCS system is already in production and a prototype was tested to establish the communications between Patriot and SHORAD. It also helped establish communication between PAC-3 missiles and G/ATOR radars. The next phase will be its full-scale development. It is expected to include an additional ground-based system called the “Indestructible Shield”.
In 2018, the Army launched the Initial Maneuver Short Range Air Defense program. The program was a shoot-off between the three main contenders, including Raytheon, and Leonardo DRS, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Leonardo. The M-SHORAD is designed to provide accurate, rapid targeting and a high degree of precision. If deployed in Ukraine, it could change the balance of power in the region.