Military Review

Developers of ZRPK IM-SHORAD face problems

34

ZRPK IM-SHORAD variants on different chassis. Photo Leonardo DRS


Since last year, General Dynamics Land Systems and Leonardo DRS, together with the US Army, have been testing the promising IM-SHORAD (Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense) anti-aircraft missile and cannon system. Some of the checks have been completed and a new stage of testing has recently begun. Procurement plans have already been drawn up, but the work schedule has to be adjusted due to emerging difficulties.

Year plans


Preliminary trials of several prototype IM-SHORADs began last year and were expected to expand in 2020. According to the plans of the army, this year all ordered prototypes in the amount of 9 units are to be tested. In March, it was reported that the current phase of testing will be completed by June, which will allow preparation for subsequent events to begin. The start of military tests was planned for the fall.

In mid-May, new reports were received on the progress of the project, the progress achieved and the difficulties encountered. By that time, the contractor had submitted five of the nine required vehicles for testing; they were being tested at various test sites in the United States. It was noted that the project is facing problems in the context of the integration of components and software, but all necessary measures are being taken.

Just a few weeks later, officials revealed other embarrassment. The COVID-19 pandemic and related activities are hampering development and testing, resulting in certain delays and deviations from the established schedule. Together with technical difficulties, this could lead to significant problems. First of all, the shift of the main events of the program to the right was expected.

In early August, it became known that the developers had finished fine-tuning the software and got rid of technical shortcomings. This made it possible to continue preparations for a new stage of testing, as well as to clarify plans for the future. In particular, it was not ruled out that the first contract for the serial production of a promising air defense missile system would be signed by the end of September.


One of the experimental complexes. Photo by GDLS

Combination of components


The goal of the IM-SHORAD project is to create a new air defense missile system for equipping military air defense. Such a complex will have to work in the same battle formations with armored vehicles and infantry, being responsible for their protection from an air attack in the near zone. One of the main customer requirements was to reduce the cost of production and operation through the widest possible use of off-the-shelf components.

The sample presented for testing is a joint development of GDLS and Leonardo DRS. Other organizations were involved in the work as suppliers of various components. The base for the air defense missile system was the Stryker four-axle wheeled armored personnel carrier. It is equipped with a combat module RIwP (Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform) with a variety of weapons, target search and fire control tools.

On the rotary base of the combat module, the MX-GCS optoelectronic equipment unit with day, night and laser channels is mounted. Radio equipment for identifying "friend or foe" is provided. In the center of the module is a swinging unit with a 30 mm M230LF automatic cannon and a 7,62 mm coaxial machine gun. On the starboard side is an SVUL launcher with four Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. On the left is the M299 installation for two Hellfire guided missiles.

IM-SHORAD can search for targets on its own or receive external target designation. Escort is carried out using optics, she is also responsible for the guidance of the receiver systems and preparation for the launch of missiles. The Stinger and Hellfire products use fire-and-forget, eliminating the need for in-flight missile controls.

The proposed appearance of the anti-aircraft complex allows solving a wide range of combat missions. First of all, IM-SHORAD must identify and destroy air targets - tactical aircraft and helicopters aviation, UAVs and guided weapons. Depending on the type of target and the range to it, it is possible to use cannon or missile weapons. The maximum range of destruction (provided by the Hellfire missile) exceeds 6-8 km. At shorter ranges, Stinger missiles or cannon are used.


Combat module RIwP configured for IM-SHORAD. Photo Wescam.com

If necessary, IM-SHORAD can fire at ground targets. A 30-mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun must ensure the defeat of "soft" targets and lightly armored vehicles. Also, ground targets are hit by the Hellfire missile.

ZRPK is built on a serial platform and is armed with well-mastered ammunition. This ensures mobility and mobility at the level of other samples of army equipment, as well as simplifies supply processes. The IM-SHORAD project also allows the use of other basic platforms - at the request of the customer.

Integration problems


In the spring, the IM-SHORAD project was negatively affected by the pandemic. As part of the tests, it is quite difficult to comply with all sanitary requirements, which is why the work had to be suspended for some time. However, then the testers received the necessary protective equipment and changed the organization of work, which made it possible to continue testing.

Integration of components became a bigger problem. As the officials noted, all the main components of the air defense missile system have already been worked out and mastered. But their connection into a common complex turned out to be a rather difficult task. There were some difficulties in the context of software, the struggle with which took some time.

The IM-SHORAD project was developed in an accelerated mode so that the ground forces received a ready-made sample in the shortest possible time. It was argued that faster work led to faster manifestations of problems and shortcomings. Correcting them took time and delayed the testing process, which was already not the easiest one.

Future purchases


At the end of May, it was argued that all the existing problems lead to a revision of the work schedule. All future stages of the project are shifted to the right, the lag was estimated at several months. Nevertheless, the customer and developers assess the current state of affairs and prospects of IM-SHORAD with a certain optimism. They are going to carry out the remaining measures in the near future and start deploying equipment to the troops.


Hellfire rocket launch. Photo Leonardo DRS

According to open information, right now, several experienced air defense missile systems are undergoing military trials and are being tested in different regions of the United States under different conditions. The main problems have been eliminated, and the further fate of the complex has actually been determined. The first contract for the supply of serial equipment should appear in the near future.

In the past, the command spoke about the need to purchase 144 systems of the IM-SHORAD type. In September 2020, it was planned to sign the first contract for 32 combat vehicles, deliveries for which were to begin in 2021. Due to general difficulties, the signing of the contract is postponed by several weeks or months. Nevertheless, the principal decision has already been made - all that remains is to document it.

Serial air defense missile systems of IM-SHORAD will be transferred to units based in Europe. The Pentagon believes that the deterioration of the situation in the region leads to the risks of a full-scale armed conflict, during which the US ground forces will need a full-fledged military air defense. Thus, over the next few years, the European formations of the US Army will be able to improve their combat capabilities and reduce the risks associated with enemy aircraft.

From problems to exploitation


The project of the IM-SHORAD anti-aircraft missile-gun complex has several interesting features and shows interesting trends. An attempt to save money by using only ready-made components ran into problems at the integration stage. The increase in the pace of work has led to an acceleration in the identification of new shortcomings. Added to all this was a negative factor in the form of an epidemic.

As stated, all the shortcomings have been eliminated and the finished air defense missile system is undergoing the next stage of testing in anticipation of the launch of the series. This allows us to speak about the successful solution of the main tasks of the project, even if with a certain delay. However, for the most simplified project, even a few months turn out to be a serious delay.
Author:
34 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Lopatov
    Lopatov 1 October 2020 18: 12 New
    +3
    Oh yeah .....
    Here in the "news" article posted. About huge problems of "Wasp" in terms of combating UAVs
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 1 October 2020 18: 18 New
      +2
      Other air defense systems are naturally needed against the MALE class. These drones have flight altitudes of 10 km. The classic layered air defense system has not yet been canceled.
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 11 New
        +2
        Quote: OgnennyiKotik
        The classic layered air defense system has not yet been canceled.

        How is "nobody"? And the Americans?
    2. Observer2014
      Observer2014 1 October 2020 18: 22 New
      0
      Quote: Spade
      Oh yeah .....
      Here in the "news" article posted. About huge problems of "Wasp" in terms of combating UAVs

      Lopatov It is unnecessary to compare this SAM-SHORAD with the "Wasp". No. On board they have different weapons and there is a temporary gap between them. Technology and all that. hi
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 15 New
        +4
        Quote: Observer2014
        and between them there is a temporary gap.

        What's the difference?
        They will have even more problems with "reach".
        "Helfair" is a so-so anti-aircraft missile.
        And "Stinger" is too "short-handed"
        1. Observer2014
          Observer2014 1 October 2020 19: 25 New
          -3
          And who said that "Helfair" in this combat module is positioned as an air defense missile? lol Its capabilities in air defense are fairly well known. This article is about the US combat module. A screw in a multifaceted military mechanism. You got excited in your first commentary comparing this combat module with the Osa air defense system yes I do not know who published this article. But the fact is the fact. It's just a combat module. Installed on anything With a focus on air defense. Everything.
          1. Lopatov
            Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 28 New
            +4
            Quote: Observer2014
            And who said that "Helfair" in this combat module is positioned as an air defense missile?

            Americans.

            Quote: Observer2014
            comparing this combat module

            ??
            1. Observer2014
              Observer2014 1 October 2020 19: 40 New
              -4
              Closing the discussion about nothing laughing An article is an article. And military equipment is military. It is foolish to argue about the same thing, but from different angles. drinks
              1. Lopatov
                Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 41 New
                +3
                Quote: Observer2014
                Closing the discussion about nothing

                Self-critical.

                By the way, the article is about the air defense system, and not about the "combat module"
                1. Observer2014
                  Observer2014 1 October 2020 19: 42 New
                  -2
                  What kind of air defense system is it? wassat It's just a combat module.
                  1. Lopatov
                    Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 43 New
                    +2
                    Quote: Observer2014
                    What kind of air defense system is it?

                    IM-SHORAD is an Air Defense Artillery capability which moves and maneuvers in direct support of Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) to destroy, neutralize or deter low altitude aerial threats.
                    (c) Leonardo
                    1. Observer2014
                      Observer2014 1 October 2020 19: 50 New
                      -2
                      Quote: Spade
                      M-SHORAD is an Air Defense Artillery capability which moves and maneuvers in direct support of Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) to destroy, neutralize or deter low altitude aerial threats.

                      The M-SHORAD is an anti-aircraft gun mount that moves and maneuvers with the direct support of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) to destroy, neutralize or contain low-altitude aerial threats.

                      Well, I said that this is a combat module with the possibility of air defense. And even what the "primary scribblers" wrote there, is secondary.
                      1. Lopatov
                        Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 52 New
                        +2
                        Quote: Observer2014
                        Well, I said that this is a combat module with air defense capability

                        E .....
                        What do you not understand in the word "antiaircraft"?
                      2. Observer2014
                        Observer2014 1 October 2020 20: 07 New
                        -2
                        Quote: Spade
                        Quote: Observer2014
                        Well, I said that this is a combat module with air defense capability

                        E .....
                        What do you not understand in the word "antiaircraft"?
                        Serial air defense missile systems of IM-SHORAD will be transferred to units based in Europe. The Pentagon believes that the deterioration of the situation in the region leads to the risks of a full-scale armed conflict, during which the US ground forces will need a full-fledged military air defense. Thus, over the next few years, the European formations of the US Army will be able to improve their combat capabilities and reduce the risks associated with enemy aircraft.
                        They used to count on overwhelming air superiority, right? So yes Now, judging by this article, they are closing the gap at close range. Only a small nuance. In your first comment, you referred to the combat experience of the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies. And here the combat module of a qualitatively different army is being discussed. requestAnd this pribluda should be considered in the complex of its application as part of the US Army. An integrated approach should be required in fantasizing the combat use of one or another military-industrial complex product. Any country. I emphasize. Any.
                      3. Lopatov
                        Lopatov 2 October 2020 09: 10 New
                        +2
                        Quote: Observer2014
                        And here the combat module of a qualitatively different army is being discussed.

                        It is not a "combat module" that is being discussed here, but a ZRAK, which, among other things, should remove the load from aviation. "Cleaning up" for "Patriots"

                        Do Armenians have aviation? There is. Can she solve the UAV problem? Can. Why doesn't it decide? That's right, because Azerbaijan also has air defense and aviation.

                        If the Americans had a medium-range air defense system, bridging the gap between the IM-SHORAD and the few Patriots, then for God's sake, let there be a "last chance machine" so that the enemy does not become impudent. But they are not. Despite numerous developments.
  • OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 1 October 2020 18: 15 New
    +1
    Drones are becoming the main threat, and the number of systems directed against them is growing.
    In my opinion, this pepelatsa has too limited ammunition. Of course, they have 30 mm projectiles with controlled detonation, but it does not seem that this air defense missile system has it provided.
    An interesting option is to install APKWS (controlled Hydra 70) or an analogue on a similar technique. A fairly versatile and cheap system.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 22 New
      +2
      Quote: OgnennyiKotik
      A fairly versatile and cheap system.

      Versatile, cheap and useless.
      Apparently, they are sawing ...
      Although the development of normal air defense systems seems to be.
    2. garri-lin
      garri-lin 1 October 2020 19: 24 New
      0
      Can that Hydra work on air targets?
      1. eklmn
        eklmn 1 October 2020 19: 50 New
        0
        It can be ground-to-air and air-to-ground, but the guidance is laser. There is no laser on amersky.
        1. garri-lin
          garri-lin 1 October 2020 20: 03 New
          0
          I have not heard of the anti-aircraft version of the Hydra. And you can link. Interesting to read.
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik 1 October 2020 21: 28 New
            0
            https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/36345/mq-9-reaper-howitzer-rocket-toting-f-16-all-shoot-down-mock-cruise-missiles-in-huge-test
            Here about the tests. And so google Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS) rocket
            1. garri-lin
              garri-lin 1 October 2020 21: 38 New
              +1
              Thank you.
          2. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik 1 October 2020 21: 33 New
            0
            In June 2020, BAE announced they had completed test firings of the APKWS from a ground launcher for the first time. Several rockets were fired from an Arnold Defense-built launcher called the Fletcher designed specifically for ground vehicles, demonstrating the weapon's ability to address a demand for standoff ground-to-ground precision munitions for small ground units.
  • Tsoy
    Tsoy 1 October 2020 18: 49 New
    +1
    Helfair was taught to work by air? What is this universal rocket? Or what? If as a military unit then what kind of warhead? An ordinary land mine is not the best choice as an anti-aircraft gun. I thought that the helfair would only be on the ground, and the stinger would take air, but the article says otherwise.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 1 October 2020 18: 55 New
      +1
      Where will they point there and fly. They are also armed with boats.
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov 1 October 2020 19: 19 New
      +2
      Quote: Choi
      What is this universal rocket?

      All ATGMs can work on air targets.
  • garri-lin
    garri-lin 1 October 2020 19: 29 New
    0
    A very strange set of weapons. Will Stinger be able to hover over a UAV weighing a couple of tens of kilograms and an electric motor? Can a single barrel 30 mm be able to hit without a controlled detonation? How will Helfair behave during upward maneuvers?
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 2 October 2020 09: 27 New
      +1
      Quote: garri-lin
      A very strange set of weapons. Will Stinger be able to target a UAV weighing a couple of tens of kg and an electric motor?

      There is another problem: the range of the UAV's onboard weapons is greater than the range of the Stinger. It turns out not a ZRPK, but some kind of self-propelled target.
      1. Tsoy
        Tsoy 2 October 2020 11: 20 New
        0
        The efficiency of the UAV's onboard armament is greater than the range of the Stinger. It turns out not a ZRPK, but some kind of self-propelled target.


        It would be better if they added a sidewinder instead of a stinger, the Europeans have such experience, but apparently it is expensive and does not fit into the required volumes.
      2. garri-lin
        garri-lin 2 October 2020 12: 08 New
        +1
        Strangely weird. I don’t like to talk about saws but very similar.
  • andrewkor
    andrewkor 1 October 2020 19: 42 New
    +2
    It looks miserable in comparison with Russian equipment of a similar purpose. It says that many years of neglect in the development of military air defense. I think so!
  • The comment was deleted.
  • bars1
    bars1 1 October 2020 22: 50 New
    0
    Quote: Spade
    All ATGMs can work on air targets.

    Only they work badly.
  • bars1
    bars1 1 October 2020 22: 52 New
    +2
    I remember looking at all this: "I blinded you out of what was, and then I fell in love with that ..."
    1. alma
      alma 3 October 2020 07: 42 New
      10
      Quote: bars1
      I recall looking at all this: ,, I blinded you from what was

      And there is:
      One of the main customer requirements was to reduce the cost of production and operation through the widest possible use of ready-made components