After years in development, the Army's high-powered mobile short-range air defense system (M-SHORAD) for Stryker brigade combat teams is marching towards an explosive debut on a battlefield near you.
The Army's fiscal year 2020 budget request released on Tuesday calls for $262.1 million to procure 44 M-SHORAD systems, more than double the amount the branch detailed in last year's request for both fiscal years 2019 and 2020.
The M-SHORAD system represents a major boost in firepower for Stryker vehicles, consisting primarily of a 360-degree Avenger air defense turret designed to bring Stinger and AGM-114 Longbow Hellfire missiles (the latter of which are traditionally used in air-to-surface roles), an XM914 30mm cannon, and a 7.62mm machine gun to bear against UAVs.
The extra cash is just the latest sign that the Army is pushing to get this turret system out the door as soon as possible. This hefty boost came just weeks after the Army posted a sources sought notice for industry partners to whip up 144 of the interim M-SHORAD solution engineered by Leonardo DRS and selected by the branch back in June 2018.
To partially quote the musical savants of P.O.D.: Boom! Here comes the Boom! Ready or not ...
A rendering of the Leonardo DRS mission equipment package atop a Stryker combat vehicle to serve as the Interim Maneuver-Short-Range Air Defense system for the U.S. Army(Courtesy of Leonardo DRS)
An M-SHORAD solution has been in the works since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and necessitate a resurgence in Cold War style tactics in Europe. According to sources sought notice, the Army sought to receive its first battery of 36 M-SHORAD systems by fiscal 2020. But officials have also stated that they're looking to field the system in Europe that same year.
"We are looking for a rapid solution for the near-term fight," Maj. Gen. John Ferarri, the Army's head of program analysis and evaluation, told Warrior Maven last year. "We atrophied air defense if you think about it. With more near-peer major combat operations threats on the horizon, the need for SHORAD and high-tier weapons like THAAD and PATRIOT comes back to the forefront."
The Army's list of modernization priorities detailed in the Pentagon budget documents released on Tuesday includes "[protecting] our forces from adversary rocket, missile, and drone delivered fires to enable joint operations" using "both theater systems and short-range air defense, like the Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense with directed energy technologies"
The directed energy element is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, especially since soldiers have been operating Stryker vehicles outfitted with anti-UAV lasers since the middle of last year. But based on the budget data and sources sought notice, it looks like the Army is putting its money where its mouth is in getting these missile-laden, cannon-rocking boom turrets downrange as soon as possible.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.
The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a narrower criminal case against Assange.
President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Marc Mukasey, 51, and longtime Trump associate Bernard Kerik, 63, a former New York City police commissioner, have joined Gallagher's defense team in recent months, both men told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in response to a question from a reporter after a motions hearing, lead defense attorney Tim Parlatore confirmed that he had previously represented Pete Hegseth, the conservative Fox News personality who has been privately lobbying Trump since January to pardon Gallagher, according to The Daily Beast.
Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace as governor of Missouri last year, is putting his uniform back on — just not as a Navy SEAL.
Greitens, who stepped down in May 2018 amid criminal charges related to an alleged extramarital affair, has become a reserve naval officer with Navy Operational Support Center — St. Louis, a spokeswoman for Navy Recruiting Command confirmed to Task & Purpose. The Kansas City Star first reported the news.