British Army strengthens Ground-Based Air Defence

The Army’s Ground-Based Air Defence Capability (GBAD) programme will enable the development of a layered GBAD force package that will defend UK interests and its deployed forces against air and missile threats.

“During the past three decades we have faced a very limited surface-to-air threat in war. However, the world is changing fast.” Explained Lieutenant Colonel Parrott. As we look towards the future, we now need to consider the challenge of defending against threats from manned and unmanned small aircraft from longer distances which is what the GBAD programme sets out to address. 

“The programme will see the update of everything from the missiles to the command and control networks and the sensors, to give us far more potent capabilities.” 

We now need to consider the challenge of defending against threats from manned and unmanned small aircraft from longer distances which is what the GBAD programme sets out to address Lieutenant Colonel Parrott

Work has already started on upgrading the GBAD capability to meet the threats of the future delivering an enhanced state of the art electronic warfare and signal intelligent capability that will be able to be integrated with allied nations on joint operations.  

The current Short-Range Air Defence System (SHORAD) used by the Royal Artillery is the high velocity missile (HVM) system optimised to defeat air threats including fast jets and helicopters in seconds. It can be fired from both mounted and dismounted launchers: a shoulder-launch for single fire, a lightweight multiple launcher capable of firing three missiles via a tripod and a self-propelled launcher that can fire up to eight missiles from a Stormer armoured vehicle. 

In addition to the high velocity missile a new Short-Range Air Defence System SHORAD lightweight multirole missile, which can be fired from platforms on land, sea and air and has a reach of up to 7 kilometres is being introduced within the next year to complement HVM. 

Sky Sabre will form the basis of a future Medium Range Air Defence capability. The future technology will see ground-based air defence deliver digitally connected platforms capable of sharing information across land, sea, air, cyber and space to deliver a wide range of effects.

Lieutenant Colonel Parrott explains: “Multi-domain integration will give us the advantage against the persistent competition we face.  It means that every part of defence will be able to work seamlessly together.  It represents the most significant change in military thought in generations.” 

He continued: “Each domain will gather and evaluate its own information, that will then be brought into one place to provide a stronger picture to create a much stronger agile, UK Defence.”