Engineers at General Dynamics Land Systems told Scout Warrior that they have removed the back of the Stryker vehicle to allow it to carry Boeing’s upgraded Avenger turret. The newly engineered vehicle is called a Stryker Mobile SHORAD (Short-Range Air Defense) Launcher or Stryker MSL. The new Stryker variant will bring offensive and defensive firepower closer to the fight. Boeing’s Avenger turret is able to fire Hellfire, AIM-9X or Longbow Hellfire missiles. The Army hopes the new Stryker variant can help address growing modern threats and boost short range air defense weaponry.
General Dynamics Land Systems has unveiled a new missile-armed Stryker able to destroy enemy drones, aircraft and incoming attacks with vehicle-mounted Hellfire weapons.
The new variant integrates an Avenger launcher turret onto the back of a reconfigured Stryker vehicle to bring offensive and defensive fire-power close into the fight where armored Strykers can operate more effectively than tactical vehicles.
GDLS has engineered the vehicle, called a Stryker Mobile SHORAD (Short-Range Air Defense) Launcher – or Stryker MSL – to address an Army urgent operational need for closer-in air defenses in mechanized or asymmetrical combat scenarios.
The emerging prototype Stryker MSL platform, which uses a three-man crew, is able to fire a Hellfire missile, AIM-9X or Longbow Hellfire, Land Systems developers said.
GD engineers designed the vehicle by removing parts of the back of a Stryker to create a platform with a Boeing-built Avenger turret mounted onto the chassis, Kendall Linson, Business Development Manager, Stryker and Specialty Wheeled Vehicles, General Dynamics Land Systems, told Scout Warrior in an interview.
“We learned of the Army’s need for short-range air defense capability and quickly came up with this solution to mount the missile capability onto the Stryker,” he said.
The effort marks the first time an Avenger launcher has been built onto a Stryker; Avenger has previously been built into the back of an Army HMMWV.
“A Stryker brings survivability and mobility. A less-armored vehicle can only go so far because you have to protect the asset. A Stryker can go to the forward edge of the battlefield,” Linson said.
As part of a vigorous effort to address a modern threat landscape, Linson explained that the Army is working to recover short-range air defense weaponry after scaling it back following the Cold War.
“After the wall came down, the Army recognized it had less of a need for short-range air defense. Now, with recent operations in Europe, we recognize the need to integrate SHORAD back into the Army,” Linson said.
In recent years, small, lethal drones and other kinds of closer-in attack threats continue to proliferate around the globe and find their way into modern warfare.
“When Russia invaded Ukraine, they were using drones in their operations which can now pose a real threat to our formations,” Linson explained.
The new weapon is slated for an Army-GDLS demonstration “shoot-off” firing this September at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The Stryker MSL will attack and destroy two air targets and one land target at the shoot-off.
GDLS has a “growth plan” which includes integrating a 30mm weapon onto the Stryker MSL in the future.
As a way to accommodate a wider range of weapons and integrate emerging ammunition or missiles in the future, Boeing has engineered a particular interface into the Avenger turret system.
“The interface allows the users to change the missiles and add new software as needed,” Linson said.
Stryker MSL will also likely incorporate on-board radar technology in the future to expedite and streamline the targeting process. The new vehicle currently relies upon a networked Sentinel Army radar system.
The need to adjust weapons is of particular importance because drone technology is evolving quickly and enemy drones can be difficult to target.
Proving this kind of air defense weapon on Strykers brings the additional advantage of being able to reach a wide range of Army formations to include Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, Armored Brigade Combat Teams and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. The Army now operates more than 4,700 Strykers.
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