HASC urges prioritize Stinger SHORAD replacement, RMP is obsolete

WASHINGTON — The war in Ukraine and the US decision to send Stinger SHORADs to help Ukrainian forces against the Russian aggressor could be a problem for Stinger’s US stockpiles as well as those of US partners around the world. This is clear from a letter sent by the House Armed Services Committee [HASC] to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned [Read the full letter here].

Photo credit: US Army

“The committee notes, however, the apparent absence of a Department of Defense plan to meet SHORAD replenishment requirements for not only our US stocks of Stinger systems but those of other contributing allies and partners,” reads the letter signed by Chairman Adam Smith and the Ranking Member Mike D. Rogers.

HASC strongly urges the U.S. Department of Defense to give priority to accelerating the modernization or replacement of the Stinger SHORAD. According to HASC, these processes must happen quickly to get a “cheap and exported evolution of the system within 36 months”.

However, it is clear from the letter that another priority – according to HASC, is the development of a new, more capable, and productive SHORAD system, the development of which, according to HASC, should also be a priority.

The idea of ​​replacing the Stinger SHORAD with the familiar look of the system is not recent. BulgarianMilitary.com reminded us that in 2020 the US Army said that the reprogrammable Stinger microprocessor [RMP] will become practically obsolete in the fiscal year 2023. Even then, the army said that Stinger Block I will actually “extend the end of its useful life”, “but “Stinger’s current inventory is in decline.”

Photo credit: House.gov

To meet US inventory needs, there must be at least 8,000 new MANPADS. As early as 2020, military experts close to the Pentagon have suggested that the United States plans to award a competitive contract for the development and production of new MANPADS, but this will not happen until 2026.

According to RFI, the US military currently plans to award a full and open competitive contract no later than the fiscal year 2026 for the production of up to 8,000 MANPADS missiles to meet this need.

If this information is confirmed, then the statements of HASC in the letter to the State Department of Defense will be true, but at the same time quite worrying about US stocks. “Events in Europe have highlighted the importance of such capability and the need for the Army and Marine Corps to develop a plan to strengthen the industrial base, strategic risk to buy out our current capabilities, and accelerate the development of a rapid SHORAD system that can be used quickly,” he says in his sleep.

IFPC for M-SHORAD battalions

As we reported earlier this year, at the end of 2022, the US Army will test a next-generation anti-missile and anti-UAS system called Dynetics Indirect Fire Protection Capability [IFPC]. The development of the prototype has already begun, with work being carried out in Huntsville, Alabama, and Tucson, Arizona.

US unveils the IFPC - a next-gen of anti-missiles and anti-UAS system
Photo credit: Dynetics

After the completion of the tests, deliveries of Dynetics IFPC are expected to start in the last quarter of 2023 in the so-called M-SHORAD battalions. The M-SHORAD systems were introduced in 2020 by the US Army and actually represent the transformation of an eight-wheeled Stryker vehicle into an unmanned assassin that can move quickly across the battlefield in support of ground forces.

M-SHORAD battalions will be part of the newly created so-called Protection Brigade [PB] unit in the US Army. This unit must protect each division of the US Army during an attack. In its structure, it includes an engineer battalion, a military police battalion, a Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense [M-SHORAD] battalion, a CBRN battalion, and a brigade support battalion.

US unveils the IFPC - a next-gen of anti-missiles and anti-UAS system AIM-9 Sidewinder
Photo credit: Wikipedia

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that in the middle of last year [2021] a test of a similar IFPC [Enduring Shield] system was performed, the prototype of which was developed jointly between Rafael / RTX and Dynetics.


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