Return to current Issue
Back Issues: 1-04, 2-04, 3-04, 4-04,
1-05, 2-05, 3-05, 1-06

 Topics & Features:

  Armored Fighting Vehicles
  C4ISR / Wireless Networking
  Combat Aircraft
  Electronic Warfare
  Fire Support
  Future Combat Systems
  Homeland Defense
  Infantry / Urban Warfare
  Logistics & support
  Naval Systems
  Net Centric Warfare
  Precision Strike
  Protection & Survivability
  Spec-Ops, Counter Terror
  Training and Simulation
  Unmanned Systems
  Defense Exhibitions

  RSS News Feed


 

 Relevant links:

  SHORAD systems

  Short Range Missile Defense
 

 SHORAD Links

  AHEAD

  Avenger

  BUK M1/2 (SA11)

  Linebacker M-6 BFV

  MEADS

  MICA VL (Surface)

  Pantsir S1

  Patriot

  Rapier JERNAS

  Red-Sky

  SAMP/T (Aster 30)

  SLAMRAAM

  Spyder

  Stinger MANPADS

  Tor M1

  Tungushka M1

 


Modern Air Defense Concepts

Effective air defense is based on an integrated and coordinated approach including airborne (AEW or tethered radars), active and passive ground based sensors (radar, IR scanners, ESM), command centers and "shooters" of various types. The air defense network usually includes the surveillance and control of the protected airspace, projection of airpower for air defense missions, wide area air defense at medium and high altitude and site point air defense, covering medium and low altitudes. Each of these elements utilizes typical weapon systems, sensors and command and control facilities designed to meet the specific environmental and tactical scenario.

This article will cover the medium low altitude point and area defense systems. Wide area air defense systems will be covered in a future article. The systems designed for medium and low level defenses, usually referred to as point defense systems and SHOrt Range Air Defense systems (SHORAD), employ various types of heat seeking, radar guided and command to line of sight guided missiles, augmented by rapid firing radar/EO directed automatic guns, for close-in defense. During the 1970s, most SHORAD systems relied on short-medium range, medium altitude Surface to Air Missile (SAM) systems, such as the Russian SA-3, and SA-6, US Hawk and Chaparral and the Franco German Roland and Crotale Surface to Air Missiles.


The low altitude defense of mobile forces was maintained by manual or radar directed guns, which were later improved with the introduction of radar directed guns such as the Russian ZSU-23/4 (Shilka) 23mm quad automatic Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft (SPAA) gun, US M-163 Vulcan that utilized the 6x20mm Gatling gun, and the German Gepard 2x35mm SPAA. Protection of large area and strategic sites was maintained by air defense guns such as the Swiss Skyguard radar directed gun system and Russian 23, 37, 57 and 85mm guns. During the 1970s and 1980s, at the peak of the cold war, the combination of guns and missiles evolved as means for the protection of mobile forces in the battlefield. For the first time, an effective multi-target engagement system was introduced, utilizing an integrated defense concept, where guns, missiles and radars of various types were mutually covering each other to provide an effective air defense "umbrella". This concept was later complemented by the evolution of high performance, compact short range missiles, such as the Starstreak, Mistral, Stinger in the west and the SA-8 and SA-19 in the East. With these missiles, advanced VSHORAD systems evolved during the late 1980s and 1990s, offering means of autonomous escort for mobile forces, protecting primarily from direct attack by attack helicopters and close air support assets.

 

Previous - Next


Search Defense Update:


ByGoogle

 


   Become a member
   Advertise on this page
   Send suggestions...

   Commentary



  Updated: 05/25/2006

   

 

2002-2006 All Rights Reserved

 Contact us - Advertise - Terms of use