Promising air defense system LOWER AD. Cheap addition for the Patriot

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At present, work is underway in the United States to find promising ways to develop air defense. A new concept of a layered complex is being worked out, which includes several main components of various kinds. The key element of such air defense should be the promising LOWER AD anti-aircraft missile system. This project has already gone through some early stages and a new weapon out for testing.


The proposed samples of defense complexes, including LOWER AD




Layer system


The development of new means of operational-tactical air defense is still carried out mainly at the level of general concepts and the development of requirements for equipment. The Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) plays a leading role in this process. Last fall, the CCDC announced the main considerations on this topic and revealed possible ways for the development of air defense. Over the past time, development has progressed noticeably, and one of them will soon be tested.

The concept of air defense is formed in connection with the emergence of new characteristic threats. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the risks associated with unmanned aerial vehicles - single or group. The development of precision weapons of all classes also continues. To counter such threats, new defenses are required.

The new concept of defense from CCDC provides for the creation of a layered system, including six "layers" or "domes" that protect a given territory and objects on it. Different "layers" include different means. It is proposed to use new radar systems, laser and missile interception systems. The largest sixth "dome" is proposed to be created using the promising LOWER AD air defense system. Its task is to detect and intercept targets at maximum ranges.

Project LOWER AD


Currently, the most long-range and effective air defense system in the US Army is the Patriot air defense system. This complex is proposed to be supplemented with a new one, so far known as Low-Cost Extended Range Air Defense (LOWER AD). The first mention of this development refers to the fall of last year. Since then, CCDC and related enterprises have managed to carry out part of the necessary work and are now preparing for testing.

The main idea of ​​the LOWER AD project is to create a new simplified and cheaper air defense system, inferior to the Patriot in a number of parameters. A less expensive complex will carry a larger number of missiles with a shorter range. Its task will be to defeat subsonic cruise missiles or attack unmanned systems. More complex targets of other types are proposed to be left for the Patriot air defense system. The combined use of Patriot and LOWER AD is expected to provide an advantageous ratio of combat effectiveness and cost of operation.

Technical details of LOWER AD have not yet been reported, but the main goals of the project, as well as ways to achieve them, have been named. To improve the combat qualities of the air defense system, it is necessary to create a reduced-sized missile defense system, which will increase the portable ammunition load of the launcher. It is required to find the optimal combination of existing and new components. It is planned to use a simpler and cheaper homing head and warheads with the characteristics at the right level.

Possible appearance


Last year, the Pentagon published a presentation on the further development of various tactical missile systems. Together with other developments, this document described a new layered air defense system with six "layers". The slides included images of some components of the LOWER AD air defense system.

The shown self-propelled launcher is made on the basis of a three-axle automobile chassis and is equipped with a lifting device for mounting transport and launch containers. According to various sources, such a launcher will be able to carry up to 25 missiles of a new type. From the point of view of a ready-to-use ammunition load, this LOWER AD variant can become a real champion among modern American air defense systems.

SAM for LOWER AD looks similar to other products in its class. She can get a cylindrical body with a pointed head fairing, on which two sets of planes will be installed. The technical characteristics of the rocket are still unknown. However, it is clear that in some respects it will lose the Patriot missiles.

Apparently, last year's presentation reflected only approximate views of the CCDC on the appearance of a promising air defense system. At that time, the LOWER AD project was under development and it cannot be ruled out that its appearance had not yet been determined. Real samples of new types of equipment may differ markedly from those presented earlier.

Test plan


A few days ago, CCDC announced the completion of part of the design work on LOWER AD. The current state of affairs allows the first tests of air defense systems in a significantly simplified configuration. The first events of this kind may take place in the coming weeks.


Possible appearance of the launcher of the LOWER AD complex


The first test launches of the prototype rocket are scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 4. This means that such tests should take place before the end of September. It is quite possible that an experimental SAM of a simplified design has already been sent to one of the test sites, where tests are being prepared. Carrying out throw launches will allow collecting the necessary data for the further development of the project.

The next year is planned to be spent on further development of the project. Full flight testing will begin in FY2021. Their main goal will be to test the capabilities of missiles to hit air targets of designated classes. The timing of the completion of these activities has not yet been specified. Accordingly, the timing of the adoption of LOWER AD into service remains unknown.

SAM as a solution to problems


Currently, the US Army is armed with several types of anti-aircraft systems that provide a solution to a wide range of tasks. At the same time, the existing air defense has shortcomings and weaknesses. To solve such problems, it is proposed to develop a number of promising samples, incl. using new operating principles.

Weapons based on new principles are proposed to be supplemented with "traditional" missile systems - in this capacity, the LOWER AD product is considered. Its main task will be to help the Patriot complexes in organizing air defense facilities. "Patriot" can hit different targets, but in some cases it is redundant and unnecessarily expensive. It is proposed to transfer targets of this kind to the LOWER AD air defense system with an increased ammunition load of cheaper missiles.

This approach to the development of air defense is of particular interest. The army plans to continue the operation and further development of the Patriot air defense system, but in parallel, new systems of various classes and types will be created. The result of the LOWER AD project should be a noticeable restructuring of air defense, capable of providing a solution to all combat missions with greater flexibility of use. An important factor is the possibility of using effective, but cheaper missiles.

However, the desired savings are very limited. It is proposed not to modernize existing air defense systems with the use of cheaper missiles, but to create a new anti-aircraft system. Thus, the technical and economic conclusions from the simplified rocket are partially offset by the costs of developing and manufacturing all other LOWER AD elements. For what reason they did not begin to create a new missile for existing air defense systems - it is not clear.

The promising LOWER AD project is currently in its early stages. Apparently, the main shape of the future air defense system has been determined and some necessary solutions have been found. In the very near future, the experimental missiles will undergo throw tests, which will allow the design to continue. More serious results will appear only in 2021 or later.

Information on the results of the LOWER AD missile drop tests may appear in the very near future. It will allow you to more fully consider the new project and more accurately predict its future. However, the most complete and accurate conclusions can only be made at the beginning of the twenties - after at least part of the main tests have been carried out and the real qualities of the new air defense system have been determined. Whether LOWER AD can become a solution to the urgent problems of American air defense - time will tell.
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  1. +6
    21 September 2019
    The US Army is armed with several types of anti-aircraft systems that provide solutions to a wide range of tasks.

    At the moment, the land Americans are armed with as many as 2 complexes - Patriot and Avenger based on MANPADS missiles. Which is clearly not consistent with existing threats. They also release Nasams, but not for themselves.
    Self-confidence about American air superiority failed badly.
    Despite the fact that they have order with the missiles of ship’s missiles.
    Why they didn’t take a ready-made solution in the form of zur essm is not clear.
    Apparently, because they have a system of land carriers separately, navigation separately, and marinas also strive to order something separately, and this has been brought to the point of absurdity
    1. +5
      21 September 2019
      Quote: Avior
      Despite the fact that they have order with the missiles of the ship's air defense systems

      That's for sure? Is everything guaranteed to work effectively?
      This topic has been discussed for a long time and no one could prove that they have everything top-top, because the arguments against were very serious!
      By the way ..... if you remember, look, count, the question arises - where are the whales really the best ??? Not the most, but definitely the best ???
      1. +1
        21 September 2019
        And what is wrong with them with ships?
        Essm is an excellent medium-range missile.
        What are the arguments against?
        1. 0
          21 September 2019
          During the discussion, the results / results of the tests were considered, and not the advertising of the manufacturers ...... did not inspire their own military.
          1. 0
            21 September 2019
            Block 2 essm was developed by a consortium of 12 countries, fully satisfied, adopted
          2. +1
            21 September 2019
            ESSM is one of the most (or rather the most, one must consider Asters who have it) widespread naval missiles in the world. operate 16 countries.

            Including Thailand with 2 frigates:

            Mexico - the basis of the fleet 20+ years, 8 ships ordered, 1 received.

            The non-aligned Finca surprised everyone when it chose not Sigma / anyone else, but its own project, at its shipyards. The lead build and 4 ordered. All with ESSM.

            Japan, which made this complex the main one in the fleet.
        2. +2
          21 September 2019
          Essm is an excellent medium-range missile.

          By whom and when was it checked in a combat situation? And so with them and with the "Patriot" everything is "excellent". lol
          1. +4
            21 September 2019
            Well, this is a generally dangerous game. After all, one can also say Calm-1, Redoubt, Fort, and even Gibka were never tested in a combat situation and can be there like with a Patriot.

            And yes, it’s very likely that you yourself know which UFO can hit Syrian C-300 already. By type, you see not only PAK-2 / 3 cannot, others are even worse. So to speak, to straighten out a reputational strike.
            1. 0
              21 September 2019
              Now there is a clear dominance of means of attack !!!
              They are simply suppressing by variety, and the quantitative factor can also play its destructive role! Another most important factor !!! Attacks can be devastating, effective, and relatively businesslike !!!
              Those. many can afford to have and use them a lot right away !!!
              We return to the obvious ...... if you want to have an effective defense, keep ready means of attack (tanks) in order to quickly, effectively deprive the enemy of the opportunity to attack !!!
            2. -1
              November 11, 2020
              Quote: donavi49
              Calm-1, Redoubt, Fort and even Gibka have never been tested in a combat situation and can be there like a Patriot.



              Hello from 2020. Torahs, Shells and S-300s were checked. Expectations were not justified.
  2. +2
    21 September 2019
    Until the rooster pecked in the head, they were complacent. Even the "Dome" is not omnipotent, as it turned out!
  3. +1
    21 September 2019
    On the seventh day, the Sharp Eye Indian saw that one wall was missing in the prison. The mattresses have only now realized that the enemy troops can attack on their own, and even from the air, and therefore they need air defense.
    Do you know why all mattress weapons are exclusively offensive? Firstly, it is easier to make it than a defensive one, an anti-aircraft missile should, for example, be twice the target in terms of maneuverability. And secondly, it’s easier to hang noodles on your ears by showing a sword, not a shield. Even in museums, there are always fewer shields than swords - they are less interesting to visitors. And if there is advertising, then the product is easier to sell. The five-wall sawmill does not want to hear about the expediency and efficiency
    For what reason they did not begin to create a new rocket for existing air defense systems - it is unclear.

    It is just clear - the cut, loved by mattresses, with the passing of hanging noodles on the ears. Note, again the "Extended Range" system. The reason is very simple - the shorter the range, the lower the price, the less you can cut. And the fact that there is nothing to cover the near zone with is garbage, our task is to shake off money, not to provide air defense.
    1. +4
      21 September 2019
      You are not quite right. The Americans simply almost completely shifted the functions of protection against air targets to their own aircraft.
      However, reality has changed, new tasks have appeared that aviation cannot perform by default - the fight against weapons and UAVs ("C-RAM, C-UAV and Counter Cruise-Missile Defenses" ©)
      1. +1
        21 September 2019
        How do you imagine protection against air targets in the event of a full-scale war with a commensurate opponent using only aviation ?! Especially considering that for an hour of flight, any fighter has many times, or even an order of magnitude, more hours of service on the ground? There will never be enough air force, only to destroy the enemy air force to the root. In the same way, you can assign missile defense to your own Strategic Missile Forces and not bathe with TAADs and other stupidity like Aegis, by the way, but there’s something they didn’t assign to their Air Force - it’s even more logical there, no one else has so many aircraft carriers, and launch anti-ship missiles any of the potential opponents can be noticeably smaller than tactical and winged ones. And they cover aircraft carriers with ships
        You are wrong, the mattresses just slept through ... ALL defensive types of weapons fell in general - they have NO defensive anything at all. Are there interceptors? I don't remember. There are breakthrough fighters, first strikes, but there are simply NO specific interceptors, like ours.
        1. +4
          21 September 2019
          Quote: RWMos
          How do you imagine protection against air targets in the event of a full-scale war with a commensurate opponent using only aviation ?!

          Such protection is called "air supremacy" in American guidelines. The conquest of which the American governing documents call the primary goal of both air-land and air-sea operations.
          1. 0
            21 September 2019
            When dominating in the air, the enemy still single-handedly breaks through and strikes. But there is no air defense - everything, this is a complete cover and the slaughter will be. In any war, where the enemy is not completely destroyed.
            It's about a war with a serious enemy. And not with Yugoslavia, where there were 50 flying boats against 1000. If there are 200 against 1000, there will already be breakthroughs. And one bomber is able to do a lot of things.
            Once again - at sea there is an absolute advantage in aviation, but there are Phalanxes and SAMs of various modifications, and on land everything is much more difficult, but there is no air defense at all
            1. +4
              21 September 2019
              Quote: RWMos
              When dominating in the air, the enemy still single-handedly breaks through

              Well, how does he break past the planes. on duty in the air?
              1. 0
                21 September 2019
                Easy and with a song. Maybe 3 will be knocked down, but one will leave. I have never heard of such a concept in the United States, but there is clearly a hole in it:
                * Fighter flight time is an order of magnitude more expensive than air defense assets on duty.
                * Fighter is stupidly unable to accompany moving columns in complex terrain due to speed.
                * In complex terrain, a priori, there are a lot of dead, invisible zones. And to kill a shock helicopter in the mountains is a couple of inconspicuous trifles.
                * At least at the beginning of the conflict, as long as the enemy’s Air Force is intact - the breakthroughs will be massive, even if by the end they most often defeat the enemy, but he will arrange a meat grinder for defenseless objects in the end.
                * Once again - the United States does not have specialized Interceptors - this is a defensive weapon, but it does not exist at all.
                * Do not confuse warm with soft, everyone has their own tasks, and they are different for air defense with fighter aircraft.
                * Now they create air defense, and again - the far zone, and not against drones, which your concept refutes tightly
                1. +3
                  21 September 2019
                  Quote: RWMos
                  You should not confuse warm with soft, everyone has their own tasks, and they are different for air defense with fighter aircraft.

                  In fact, air defense without an air component, that is, this very fighter aircraft thing is absolutely impractical.

                  And your phrase looks strange. laughing Like "do not confuse warm with soft, dishes and plates have different tasks"
                  1. 0
                    21 September 2019
                    And object air defense without stationary air defense systems of all ranges is a sad tale of a schizophrenic. It's like canceling the combat guards of headquarters, and "assigning their task to the DRG behind enemy lines." Let all the enemy DRGs cut out there. And what is left - the combat units on the line will be stopped ... A carbon copy of the situation, as with air defense from fighters!
  4. 0
    21 September 2019
    The United States has a pilot development of short-range air defense systems under the title of MNTK, which is designed to intercept air targets, starting from the Kyrgyz Republic and ending with mines, at a distance of 3-5 km.

    The cost of the MNTK mini-missile with a passive RGSN is cheap, the launcher looks like a 1x1x1 m container mounted on the ground, the radar is transported by jeep, the system operates automatically without operator intervention.

    One air defense system with 100 mini-missiles will completely cover one refinery.

    We have an analogue of MNTK - the "nails" of Pantsir-SM.
  5. mvg
    +3
    21 September 2019
    If it is impossible to read the article, even if the topic is interesting, then I know who the author is (in the sense of a copywriter)
  6. -1
    21 September 2019
    Weapon of last chance. Suppose the structure of the Air Force and Air Defense in some area is destroyed. What to do? Use homing missiles (ARLGSN, IR, etc.) with any suitable launcher. There are options for using from inclined / beam guides on the Hammer, from "packages" unified with the MLRS MLRS. I think the Americans draw inspiration from the Houthis, who regularly "land", mainly KSA drones, but there are even more serious targets.
  7. 0
    21 September 2019
    Instead of attaching new cheap missiles to the existing air defense system, they are blocking the new complex as a whole? Functionally weaker than the existing one. Is logical.
  8. +1
    21 September 2019
    There are a lot of comments about essm, and so the rocket apiece is more expensive than the patriot pack3, essm is almost by weight of gold. Met figures in a million per shot. Here is the ultimate answer to why the low-cost system is not equipped with rockets for llamas.
    1. 0
      22 September 2019
      Hi!
      The United States has air defense missile systems firing mortar and artillery shells. But Russia does not have this yet. We have ship ones, but they don’t fall into shells.

      And remember the work of the Americans against Russian PMCs in Syria, they defeated ours in a couple of hours and very accurately.

      Therefore, it is not necessary to arrange bravado as before Tsushima and 1941 ...

      The enemy must be studied and respected as an adversary.
      Marshal Zhukov never spoke - "let's go, we are the strongest Russians in the world, we will beat the Germans with our bunch" ...
  9. 0
    22 September 2019
    Hi!
    The United States has air defense missile systems firing mortar and artillery shells. But Russia does not have this yet. We have ship ones, but they don’t fall into shells.

    And remember the work of the Americans against Russian PMCs in Syria, they defeated ours in a couple of hours and very accurately.

    Therefore, it is not necessary to arrange bravado as before Tsushima and 1941 ...

    The enemy must be studied and respected as an adversary.
    Marshal Zhukov never spoke - "let's go, we are the strongest Russians in the world, we will beat the Germans with our bunch" ...
    1. 0
      December 2 2019
      The United States has air defense missile systems firing mortar and artillery shells. But Russia does not have this yet. We have ship ones, but they don’t fall into shells.

      And remember the work of the Americans against Russian PMCs in Syria, they defeated ours in a couple of hours and very accurately.

      please give a link to the air defense system gun and at least some photo and video material where the Americans defeated the Russian PMCs
  10. +4
    October 21 2019
    Appearance forgive David, or the iron dome. Given the fact that they most of all develop air defense / missile defense together, perhaps this will be a purely American (modified) version of the forgiveness or dome, only not vertical launch, and only for aerodynamic purposes.

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