Capabilities Analysis

M-SHORAD capabilities outstrip Russia's Pantsir system


The Maneuver Short Range Air Defense system provides continuous, all-terrain defense to forces on the battlefield, eclipsing the Russian Pantsir which has a spotty track record.

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The proliferation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has made air defense more critical than ever as ground forces face threats from drones, rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.

The US Army's Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) system integrates existing guns, missiles, rockets and sensors onto the Stryker A1 armored vehicle, creating a mobile air defense system that moves with troops and offers continuous protection.

While the system is primarily intended for the air defense of maneuvering troops, it can engage a variety of ground targets.

The system-outfitted Strykers are capable of following troops into battle across diverse and unforgiving terrain and establishing short range air dominance as warfighters advance in contested areas.

A Directed Energy Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) system prototype in 2021. [US Army]
A Directed Energy Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) system prototype in 2021. [US Army]

Previous SHORAD versions were used to great success during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Artillery components

The M-SHORAD includes a 360-degree Avenger air defense turret equipped with XM914 30 mm automatic cannon and a belt-fed, gas operated M-240 7.62 mm machine gun.

The system has two AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missiles, a 45-kg short ranged air-to-ground tactical missile capable of hitting ground targets, and four FIM-92 stinger missiles which have infrared homing technology to track and strike air targets.

These combined air and ground defense capabilities are enhanced by a multi-mission radar system that targets and locks onto adversary vehicles and aircraft.

The Army is currently testing a 50-kilowatt laser weapon system (DE M-SHORAD), with four Stryker vehicles outfitted with the directed-energy system in an overseas operational environment.

The laser employs battery and thermal capabilities to attack aerial threats without explosions or loud gunfire.

The ability to continuously deploy laser beams makes the magazines of directed energy systems near-limitless when compared to conventional missile and ammunition-fed air defense systems.

The laser is also capable of engaging and neutralizing threats at the speed of light.

Furthermore, the system's precision minimizes collateral damage, making it suitable for operations in varied environments, including populated areas.

Future of war

As cheaper, off-the-shelf drones become available, the character of war is changing, elevating the importance of mobile air defenses.

In its war on Ukraine, Russia has struggled to make cross-border strikes in many parts of the country, forcing a reliance on autonomous and standoff weapons such as conventional artillery and drones to attack Ukrainian forces and artillery.

Russia's own short-range air defense, the Pantsir system, has failed to provide sufficient air defense with system malfunctions and technological issues.

The Russian military touts the system as top tier, but the Pantsir S-1 has failed to counter even small drones, with multiple instances of footage emerging of cheap drones successfully attacking the air defense system.

Ukrainian forces have destroyed, damaged or captured at least 20 Pantsir-S1s, according to Oryx, a Dutch open-source intelligence site.

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May Allah rid us of the US army with all of its equipment! May Allah rid us of it and of the criminal Zionists! America, England, France, Italy, Canada, and Australia are all colonial powers living off on the wealth of Arab countries. May Allah rid us of them, Allah willing! America manufactures weapons and markets them in the Arab and Muslim countries. Therefore, it has always wanted to ignite wars across the Arab world so that its arms factories may not close to avoid deficits in the balance of payments. It sells weapons to Arab countries and uses them against them, like what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also sent weapons to the Zionist entity to strike Gaza. The Zionist entity is the source of terrorism, and America is the terrorism itself; it’s a sponsor of terrorism. It’s the head of the snake that must be smashed.