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8 May 2022

Saab Mobile Short Range Air Defence System (MSHORAD), Sweden

Saab’s MSHORAD short-range air defence system is designed to detect and defeat new airborne threats on the battlefield.
Swedish defence company, Saab, revealed the final version of its MSHORAD air defence system in March 2022. Credit: Saab AB.
The short-range air defence system is designed to deal with a range of aerial threats over the battlefield. Credit: Saab AB.
MSHORAD is equipped with Giraffe 1X 3D radar and RBS 70 NG missile system. Credit: Saab AB.
The ground-based air defence system has a detection range of 75km and an interception range of 9km. Credit: Saab AB.

The Mobile Short-Range Air Defence (MSHORAD) is a compact air defence solution developed by Swedish aerospace and defence company, Saab. The company revealed the finalised version of the air defence system in March 2022.

The MSHORAD air defence system comprises a Giraffe 1X multi-mission 3D radar and a mobile firing unit equipped with RBS 70 NG short-range missiles. The radar and weapon systems are co-ordinated by Saab’s ground-based air defence (GBAD) command and control (C2) system.

The system is designed to identify and deter a wide range of air threats, including those from fighter jets, armed helicopters, missiles, and rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM), as well as the newer threats posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and loitering munitions.

MSHORAD design and features

Saab’s ground-based air defence system, MSHORAD, comes with advanced radar and remote weapon systems to enable swift and effective identification and countering of air threats over the battlefield.

It is small and portable, but its modular design allows for easy installation onto any vehicle platform, making it a highly mobile and formidable air defence system with multi-role capabilities.

MSHORAD is designed to move alongside ground-based combat units and provide persistent protection and defence against multiple aerial threats within an effective interception range of 9km. It can detect multiple targets and react and strike fast enough to neutralise air threats within an altitude of up to 5km from ground level.

After threat evaluation and weapon assignment by the GBAD C2 system, the missiles of the air defence system can be engaged in less than five seconds to eliminate multiple targets.

MSHORAD is rapidly deployable. Apart from being integrated onto a wide range of vehicles, it can also be used from top of buildings offering an additional operational advantage.

Giraffe 1X radar system details

The Giraffe 1X is a compact and high-performance multi-mission 3D radar mainly used in short-range surveillance and surface-to-air defence. It is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar featuring Gallium Nitride (GaN) circuits.

The radar has a 360° coverage and offers up to 75km of situational awareness. It can quickly detect and target the most challenging UAV threats, including the drones that are low, slow and small. The radar can even detect a UAV lighter than a milk carton from 4km away.

Command and control system

The data collected by the radar system is sent to the command and control (C2) system, which compiles and coordinates the local air picture. It identifies, classifies and evaluates the air threats for calculating the time-to-fire and assigns weapons accordingly. The system is also designed to conduct an after-action review after the missiles are fired.

Details of RBS 70 NG missile system

The RBS 70 NG missile system is based on the RBS 70 short-range surface-to-air missile system. It features laser-guided unjammable missiles with automatic target tracking and multi-target capabilities. The missiles are difficult for enemies to intercept.

The missile system can operate in day and night and can be rapidly reloaded on the field. RBS 70 has been serving the Swedish Armed Forces since 1977.

Tests and demonstrations of MSHORAD air defence system

Saab conducted successful system integration and test firings of the MSHORAD system, between March 2021 and March 2022, in co-operation with the Czech defence company, SVOS.

SVOS’ modular armoured vehicle, MARS, was used to conduct MSHORAD’s live firing demonstrations.

Saab showcased MSHORAD for the first time at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), an international defence exhibition, held in London, UK, in 2017.

The system was also exhibited at Eurosatory, a weaponry industry trade fair, held in Paris, France, in 2018.  It was followed by the air defence system’s display at CANSEC, Canada’s largest security and defence exhibition, held in 2019.

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