Home Europe New US Army M-SHORAD air defense system debuts in first European drill

New US Army M-SHORAD air defense system debuts in first European drill

M-SHORAD missile launch
A Stinger missile launches from the U.S. Army’s new Maneuver Short Range Air Defense Stryker on March 10, 2022, from a beach in Rutja, Estonia for exercise Saber Strike 22.

The US Army’s new Mobile Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) systems have made their first exercise debut in Europe during the Saber Strike 22 maneuver in Rutja, Estonia.

This is the first time the four M-SHORADs have taken part in an international exercise after Germany-based 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (5-4 ADA), fielded them in April last year.

5-4 ADA was the first battalion in the Army to test, receive, and field the new M-SHORAD, which is replacing aging Avenger short range air defense systems. The systems have also completed their first live-fire in theater since then.

On exercise Saber Strike 22, M-SHORAD systems helped the the US Army Europe and Africa Command validate operational reach along NATO’s eastern flank. Held every two years, Saber Strike 22 began on February 28 and ran through March 18. The training event is scheduled during winter to demonstrate the ability to operate in austere conditions.

The exercise included approximately 13,000 participants from 13 nations, with exercise activities occurring across the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia.

Photo: US Army

The M-SHORAD, which integrates existing guns, missiles, rockets and sensors onto a Stryker A1 vehicle, is the result of one of the many modernization efforts undertaken by the army. The system is designed to defend maneuvering forces against unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing and residual fixed-wing threats.

Future development of follow-on M-SHORAD systems will incorporate technology insertions, to include directed energy and improved missiles, utilizing a mix of complementary DE and kinetic interceptor systems to protect maneuver forces.