Army Budget Request Prioritizes SHORAD and FIRES

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The U.S. Army FY 2018 budget request has placed added emphasis on the need to expand and modernize its short-range air defenses and long-range precision fires capabilities, saying that this portfolio “contains the Army’s most urgent and pressing capability needs due to challenges not faced in almost 30 years. Given the possibility of conflict with near-peer competitors who have a substantial anti-access and anti-denial capability, the Army is improving its long-range fires and short range air defense capabilities. The gap is in both the quantity and the capabilities of those munitions, including range.”

Systems designated for improvement and procurement include the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, as well as a “a cannon delivered area effects replacement munition to mitigate past divestment in maneuverable short range air defense.” The budget document also says the Army will upgrade its Stinger and Avenger SHORAD systems. The Army is requesting $2.2 billion towards this effort.

The Army is also requesting funds for the Patriot Product Improvement Plan and the Patriot Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) to “improve [the] reliability and lethality to the Army’s integrated air and missile defense.”

Related Links:

FY 2018 Defense Budget Overview, Department of Defense

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Ian Williams, "Army Budget Request Prioritizes SHORAD and FIRES," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, May 23, 2017, last modified June 15, 2018,