The U.S. Army brings back its Avenger surface-to-air missile systems mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee.
Last year, the Army re-established an active SHORAD battalion in Germany. The 5th Battalion of the 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was stood up with Avenger systems that mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee, modified with a turret on top and two pods of Stinger missiles.
The combined weapon system provides mobile protection against missiles, low-flying aircraft and most recently – unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Avengers were first used by the Army in 1990, but in recent years most had been relegated to the National Guard or stored in depots.
A total of 72 Avengers were pulled out of mothballs last year from Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, Holler said. Half are now with the 5-4 ADA and the others are ready for the issue at a pre-positioned equipment depot in Germany.
The shift back to the Avengers is based on the Army chief of staff’s initiative to close the gap in short-range air defense capabilities the United States and its NATO allies suffer from on the European continent, according to the Army. The Army was given a “wake-up call” when it observed the conflict in Ukraine.
The U.S. Army has been laying the foundations to conduct large-scale combat operations against a near-peer adversary like Russia.
In addition to the development of logistics systems and the strengthening of the military power of armored formations, the Army is now standing up short-range air defense units, known as SHORAD battalions.
The Army is now reshaping its capability and capacity to conduct large-scale combat operations against a near-peer adversary like Russia, so SHORAD units are once again needed.