Military Review

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

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Currently, work is underway in the United States to find promising ways to develop air defense. A new concept of a layered complex is being developed, which includes several main components of various kinds. The key element of such an air defense should be the promising anti-aircraft missile system LOWER AD. This project has already passed some early stages, and in the near future a new weapon will be tested.



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 technical requirements. The leading role in this process is played by the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC). Last fall, the CCDC announced the main considerations on this subject and revealed possible ways of developing air defense. Over the past time, the development has noticeably advanced, and one of them will soon be put to the test.

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 defense concept from CCDC provides for the creation of a layered system that includes 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 air defense system LOWER AD. Its task is to detect and intercept targets at maximum ranges.

Project LOWER AD


Currently, the Patriot air defense system is the most long-range and effective air defense system in the US Army. It is proposed to supplement this complex with a new, so far known as Low-Cost Extended Range Air Defense (LOWER AD). The first mention of this development dates back to last fall. Since that time, CCDC and related companies 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, which is inferior to the Patriot in a number of parameters. A less expensive complex will carry a larger number of missiles with a shorter range. His task will be the defeat of subsonic cruise missiles or strike 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 a favorable ratio of combat effectiveness and operating costs.

Technical details of LOWER AD have not yet been announced, but the main goals of the project, as well as ways to achieve them, are identified. To improve the combat qualities of an air defense system, it is necessary to create a missile launcher of a reduced size, which will increase the ammunition load of the launcher. It is required to find the optimal combination of existing and new components. It is planned to use simpler and cheaper homing heads 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”. On the slides there were images of some components of the LOWER AD air defense system.

The self-propelled launcher shown is based on 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 the ready-to-use ammunition, such an option LOWER AD 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 the 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 has not yet been determined. Actual models of new types of equipment may differ significantly 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 PU complex LOWER AD


The first throw tests of the prototype rocket are scheduled for the 4 quarter of the 2019 financial year. This means that such tests should take place before the end of September. It is possible that the experimental missiles of a simplified design have already been sent to one of the test sites where test preparations are carried out. Throwing starts will allow you to collect the necessary data for the further development of the project.

Next year it is planned to spend on further development of the project. Full flight tests will begin in fnx 2021 Their main goal will be to test the capabilities of missiles to defeat the air targets of the assigned classes. The completion dates for these activities have not yet been specified. Accordingly, the timing of the adoption of LOWER AD in service remains unknown.

SAM as a solution to problems


Currently, the U.S. Army is armed with several types of anti-aircraft systems that provide solutions to a wide range of tasks. Moreover, the existing air defense has drawbacks and weaknesses. To solve such problems, it is proposed the development of a number of promising samples, including using new principles of work.

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

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

At the moment, the promising LOWER AD project is in its early stages. Apparently, the main face of the future air defense system was determined and some necessary solutions were found. In the very near future, experimental missiles will undergo throw tests, which will allow to continue designing. More serious results will appear only in 2021 or later.

Information on the results of missile throw tests of the LOWER AD rocket may appear in the very near future. It will allow to more fully consider the new project and more accurately predict its future. However, the most complete and accurate conclusions can be made only in the early twenties - after at least part of the main tests and determination of the real qualities of the new air defense system. Will LOWER AD be a solution to the pressing problems of American air defense - time will tell.
Author:
Photos used:
US Army CCDC, defense-blog.com
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  1. Avior
    Avior 21 September 2019 06: 32
    +6
    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.
    The self-confidence of the superiority in the air of the Americans greatly let down.
    Despite the fact that they have order with the missiles of ship’s missiles.
    Why they did not take a ready-made solution in the form of zur essm is not clear.
    Apparently, because they have a system of trackers separately, navi- separately, and marinas also strive to order something separately, and this is brought to the point of absurdity
    1. rocket757
      rocket757 21 September 2019 07: 13
      +5
      Quote: Avior
      Despite the fact that they have order with missiles

      That's for sure? Is everything guaranteed and effective?
      We have been discussing this topic for a long time and no one could prove that they have all the top-top, because the arguments against it 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. Avior
        Avior 21 September 2019 07: 16
        +1
        And what is wrong with the ship ones?
        Essm is an excellent medium-range missile.
        What are the arguments against?
        1. rocket757
          rocket757 21 September 2019 07: 19
          0
          During the discussion, they considered the results / test results, and not the manufacturers' advertisements ...... did not inspire their own military.
          1. Avior
            Avior 21 September 2019 07: 59
            0
            Block 2 essm was developed by a consortium of 12 countries, fully satisfied, adopted
          2. donavi49
            donavi49 21 September 2019 08: 38
            +1
            ESSM is one of the most (or rather the most, one must consider Asters who have it) widespread naval missiles in the world. Operated on 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 in the fleet.
        2. maidan.izrailovich
          maidan.izrailovich 21 September 2019 09: 19
          +2
          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. donavi49
            donavi49 21 September 2019 09: 22
            +4
            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. rocket757
              rocket757 21 September 2019 10: 21
              0
              Now there is a clear dominance of attack means !!!
              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 effective defense, keep offensive means (tanks) on ready-made means in order to quickly, effectively deprive the enemy of the opportunity to attack !!!
            2. OgnennyiKotik
              OgnennyiKotik 11 November 2020 19: 10
              -1
              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. Torah, Pantsiri and S-300 were checked. Expectations fell short.
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 21 September 2019 06: 59
    +2
    Until the rooster pecked in the head, they were complacent. Even the "Dome" is not omnipotent, as it turned out!
  3. Rwmos
    Rwmos 21 September 2019 08: 28
    +1
    On the seventh day, the Sharp Eye Indian saw that there was not one wall in the prison. Mattresses just now realized that the enemy could attack himself, and even from the air, and therefore they need air defense.
    Do you know why mattresses have all weapons exclusively offensive? Firstly, it is easier to do than a defensive, anti-aircraft missile, for example, should twice exceed the target in terms of maneuverability. And secondly, it’s easier to hang noodles on the 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 feasibility and effectiveness
    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. Lopatov
      Lopatov 21 September 2019 10: 11
      +4
      You are not quite right. The Americans simply almost completely transferred the protection functions from 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. Rwmos
        Rwmos 21 September 2019 10: 21
        +1
        How do you imagine protection from air targets in the event of a full-scale war with a commensurate rival with the help of exclusively aviation ?! Especially, considering that for an hour of flight at any fighter at times, and even an order of magnitude more hours of service on the ground? This will never be enough for any Air Force, only to destroy the enemy Air Force under the root. You can also put missile defense on your own Strategic Missile Forces and not soar with TAADs and other nonsense like Aegis, by the way, and there they didn’t put anything on their Air Force - it’s even more logical, there are so many no more aircraft carriers and missiles any of the probable opponents can be noticeably less than tactical and winged. And they cover aircraft carriers with ships
        You are wrong, the mattresses just fell ... ALL ALL defensive weapons fell - they have NO defensive anything at all. Are there interceptor fighters? I will not mention. There are fighters of a breakthrough, the first strike, and it’s just NO specific interceptors, like ours
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 21 September 2019 10: 24
          +4
          Quote: RWMos
          How do you imagine protection from air targets in the event of a full-scale war with a commensurate rival with the help of exclusively 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. Rwmos
            Rwmos 21 September 2019 10: 30
            0
            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 adversary. And not with Yugoslavia, where 50 flyers were against 1000. There will be 200 against 1000 - there will already be breakthroughs. And one bomber is capable of heaping up dofig affairs.
            Once again - at sea there is an absolute advantage in aviation, but there are both Phalanxes and SAM of various modifications, and on land everything is much more complicated, but there is no air defense at all
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov 21 September 2019 10: 35
              +4
              Quote: RWMos
              When dominating in the air, the enemy still single-handedly breaks through

              Well, as he breaks past the planes. on duty in the air?
              1. Rwmos
                Rwmos 21 September 2019 11: 00
                0
                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 a complex relief a priori dofiga of dead, invisible zones. And a helicopter in the mountains to strike shock - 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. Lopatov
                  Lopatov 21 September 2019 13: 29
                  +3
                  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. Rwmos
                    Rwmos 21 September 2019 19: 46
                    0
                    And object air defense without stationary air defense systems of all ranges is a sad tale of a schizophrenic. It is like canceling the outposts of the headquarters, and their task "to entrust the DRG behind enemy lines." Let all the enemy DRGs cut out there. And what is left - combat units on the line will stop ... A carbon copy of the situation, as with air defense from fighters!
  4. Operator
    Operator 21 September 2019 10: 14
    0
    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 SAM with 100 mini-missiles will completely cover one refinery.

    We have an analogue of MNTK - "nails" Pantsir-SM.
  5. mvg
    mvg 21 September 2019 10: 38
    +3
    If it’s 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. Lexus
    Lexus 21 September 2019 15: 23
    -1
    Weapon of last chance. Let's say that the structure of the Air Force and Air Defense in some area is destroyed. What to do? Use homing missiles (ARLGSN, IK, etc.) with any suitable launcher. There are applications with inclined / beam guides on the "Hummer", with "packages", unified with MLRS MLRS. I think the Americans draw inspiration from the Houthis, who regularly "land" mainly KSA drones, but there are more serious goals.
  7. garri-lin
    garri-lin 21 September 2019 16: 15
    0
    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. Phoenix
    Phoenix 21 September 2019 17: 49
    +1
    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. Blockchain
      Blockchain 22 September 2019 13: 36
      0
      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 the Russian PMCs in Syria, they beat 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. Blockchain
    Blockchain 22 September 2019 13: 34
    0
    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 the Russian PMCs in Syria, they beat 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. Disant
      Disant 2 December 2019 10: 18
      0
      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 the Russian PMCs in Syria, they beat ours in a couple of hours and very accurately.

      please give a link to the anti-aircraft gun and at least some photo-video material where the Americans broke the Russian PMCs
  10. IAI-Azerbaijan
    IAI-Azerbaijan 21 October 2019 17: 42
    +4
    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.