Air Defense: January 14, 2005

Archives

U.S. Army Air Defense troops have been largely unemployed for the past sixty years. The air force has dominated the air, and U.S. ground units have rarely been threatened with attack from the air. This has put the air defense people at an increasing disadvantage when it comes to getting money for new weapons and equipment. Increasingly, the army air defense community has been having success in expanding their mandate to include all airborne threats. This means missiles, rockets and even shells. The army is asking industry to present any ideas they might have to provide reliable, affordable and practical weapons for this more expansive form of air defense. This is more than just budget politics. Potential enemies are well aware of the U.S. Air Forces ability to sweep the skies of hostile aircraft. So many nations are investing in ballistic and cruise missiles, knowing that these weapons have a better chance of hitting American ground troops than do warplanes. There are also improvements in artillery and mortar ammunition. Artillery shells now have extra long range capabilities (via a rocket motor in the back of the shell). Mortar shells and rockets can be equipped with GPS guidance. 

The new research efforts have actually been going on for a while. The U.S. Army has, after over a decade of effort, made its Patriot anti-aircraft missiles a reliable anti-ballistic missile system. Working with Israeli scientists, a laser based anti-rocket and artillery/mortar shell system has been developed. This system (THEL) is a few years away from being combat ready. But using the Patriot and THEL technology, its possible to develop smaller and cheaper air defense systems. This all this stuff can be gotten to work, U.S. Army Air Defense troops will have plenty of work in the future. 

 


Article Archive

Air Defense: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close