Mobility is key to modern air defense

With aerial threats rapidly evolving, Western nations are now addressing gaps in their ground-based air defense (GBAD). What’s needed are short-range air defense systems that combine agility with ease of deployment.

The global security environment is rapidly evolving. Defense strategies that were highly effective a few years ago can quickly be made obsolete by changes in technology, geopolitics, and military strategy. According to Rickard Svensson, Director of Marketing and Sales for Ground-Based Air Defense, that’s just what has happened with the GBAD approaches of many western nations.

Gaps in the defense matrix

The U.S. and many of its allies have focused their GBAD efforts on long-range solutions designed to combat fighter jets and inter-continental ballistic missiles. Now, smaller, more nimble aerial threats have quickly evolved, creating gaps in the defense matrix.

“The traditional threats like fighters, transports, helicopters, and missiles are still there, but we’re seeing a new threat in small, combat unmanned aircraft systems (UAS),” says Svensson. “Not all of these UAS are military; some are adapted from civilian systems. They weigh anything from five to 45 pounds, and they pose a significant threat.”

Svensson says the United States is among those players who have recognized the need for improved short-range (SHORAD) and very short-range (VSHORAD) air defense, and are now urgently looking to close this gap.

Benefits of mobile GBAD

As western nations seek to improve their defenses, GBAD systems that offer mobility will be essential to combating new threats. Unlike static systems, a mobile system can be moved to wherever it will be most effective at that time - and is beneficial across multiple applications:

  • National security: When defending a large nation like the United States, it is more efficient to deploy mobile GBAD systems where needed, rather than build static systems that can only ever serve one location.
  • Moving troops: Mobile GBAD systems can be deployed on very short notice, quickly providing situational awareness and coverage for troops on the move.
  • Urban warfare: Most modern battles take place in urban environments. Mobile GBAD allows air defense systems to operate from vehicles and roof tops, supplying coverage in these complex settings.

Learn about our ground-based air defense solutions here.