Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022
News Every Day |

What's Better for Anti-air Defense: Missiles or Guns?

Charlie Gao

Military Affairs, Global


Each come with their own costs and benefits.

Here's What You Need to Know: While missiles are great for keeping things light and mobile, there may be issues with going to completely missiles.

During the Cold War, short-range air defense (SHORAD) was dominated by gun-based vehicles. From the German Gepard to the American VADS to the Soviet Shilka, rapid fire autocannons were the preferred method of taking down helicopters and aircraft at close range.

This started to change near the end of the Cold War, with anti-air missiles being added onto these platforms to increase their flexibility and lethality in combat. Some systems like the American M1097 Avenger downgraded the gun into a secondary weapon, mounting only a single rapid-firing .50 cal machine gun while mounting racks for eight stinger missiles. Others simply added on additional rockets onto existing systems, such as the Gepard A1 in the Bundeswehr. Some were designed from the outset to be excellent at both: the Soviet Tunguska mounted two twin thirty-millimeter cannons, an upgrade from the Shilka, as well as an excellent missile system.

Despite the proliferation of these systems, it appears that guns have largely fallen out of favor. In the land forces modernization plan that planned to give the Marine Corps additional SHORAD, a missile only system was proposed. New Russian air defense vehicles are mounting only missiles as well, eliminating the gun component of the Pantsir system. The same situation is occurring with militaries around the globe.

But why are militaries moving towards missile only solutions? There are a multitude of reasons.

Missile systems are becoming more and more capable. When the M163 VADS came out, it was paired with the M48 Chaparral medium surface-to-air missile launcher. The Chaparral fired modified AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

These had many limitations, they could only lock on from certain aspects, they took a long time to lock on, and they had limited range. Purpose built Soviet systems like the Strela-1 and Strela-10 weren’t much better in those aspects.

As a result, guns were necessary to defend against aircraft flying in flight profiles in which a SAM was less than optimal weapon. This has changed with the development of highly capable MANPADS such as the FIM-92 Stinger missile. These missiles can engage most targets in the gun firing profile quickly with more accuracy than guns themselves.

With these missiles, greater capability can be put on lighter weight platforms, allowing a SHORAD network to be more spread out and mobile. The Avenger is a great example of this: a gun system as lethal as eight stingers would never be able to fit on the back of a Humvee and have the rapid shooting capability the Stinger brings.

There are videos of light AA guns being mounted on trucks and even some pickups by insurgents, and the accuracy of such systems is almost invariably very poor. The recoil of even a twenty-three millimeter system is enough to rock even a truck sideways. Outboard stabilizers are required for accurate fire if the chassis isn’t heavy and tracked like a Gepard or Tunguska.

Missiles don’t have this issue, as they are recoilless, so they can be effectively mounted on very small platforms. One of the new systems under development is the Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) that uses the light JLTV chassis with Stingers as the primary “kinetic” weapon. The Polish “Poprad” is similar, mounting four MANPADS on an armored truck.

But while missiles are great for keeping things light and mobile, there may be issues with going to completely missiles. Anti-air guns always had a strong anti-infantry capability due to their explosive ammunition and high rate of fire. M42 Dusters were notorious for their effectiveness in Vietnam. Similar situations applied in almost every conflict: Shilkas in Chechnya and Afghanistan, old ZSU-57-2s in Yugoslavia. While some missile systems can be used against ground targets, doing so is usually not ideal due to cost and accuracy reasons.

Missile systems also have a significant higher cost-per-shot than gun systems. Faced with a regular threat of a handful of cheap drones a day, a gun-system engagement would cost probably around a few thousand dollars worth of ammunition per drone (at maximum), compared to tens of thousands of dollars per missile. For the same reason, gun systems also have additional “staying power,” with the ammo reserves of most guns being able to support more engagements than the rack of a missile system.

Charlie Gao studied Political and Computer Science at Grinnell College and is a frequent commentator on defense and national security issues.

This article first appeared in September 2018 and is being reprinted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters

Read also

January 6 panel calls Ivanka Trump for interview

How to hide your online status on Instagram

I make my son do 12,000 steps a day to earn video game time at the weekend – people say it’s too much but he loves it

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

How a Family of Saffron Farmers Harvests the World s Most Expensive Spice Vendors

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Biochar Market expected to register the significant growth over the forecast period 2020-2028

Sports today

Новости тенниса
Australian Open

Рублев вышел в третий круг Открытого чемпионата Австралии

Спорт в России и мире

Okko эксклюзивно покажет межсезонные контрольные игры ФК “Локомотив”


All sports news today


Sports in Russia today

Обвиняемого в краже у футболиста 4 млн рублей арестовали в Москве

Новости России

Game News

Большая игра Мафия-НН онлайн!


Brand Analytics назвала самый запомнившийся россиянам поступок Байдена на посту президента

Губернаторы России

Сотрудник банка в Химках похитил более 4 млн рублей со счета экс-футболиста «Динамо»

Доктор Руженцова допустила тяжелое течение заболевания при заражении штаммом «Омикрон»

Ученый Болков допустил появление новых мутаций коронавируса из-за животных

Игровой ютубер -Night набрал 15 млн просмотров на YouTube.

Зимняя палатка куб – отличное убежище от мороза

Добровинский назвал сумасшедшими тех, кто подозревает вдову Градского в инсценировке ограбления

«Похмельный набор» для гостей Бузовой слили в Сеть перед днем рождения звезды

Поклонники Тимати упрекнули мать рэпера за разное отношение к внукам

Певица Maruv взяла паузу в музыкальной карьере из-за выгорания

Медведев отключил эмоции и вынес Кирьоса. Тактика сработала

Джокович после скандала в Австралии купил компанию по разработке COVID-лекарств

Медведев одержал победу на старте Открытого чемпионата Австралии

Рублев вышел в третий круг Открытого чемпионата Австралии

Второй сезон комедийного хита ТНТ «Девушки с Макаровым» стартует в последний день января

Певица Ева Канна приняла участие в концерте для ветеранов Великой Отечественной войны в Санкт- Петербурге

Экс-чемпион UFC Нурмагомедов откроет сеть ресторанов по всей Москве

Названа причина многомиллионного штрафа Twitter в России

Инфекционист сообщил, когда заболеваемость COVID-19 в России достигнет пика

«Великий Туран» Эрдогана против многополярного мира

Госдеп обвинил Москву в историческом ревизионизме

Программный директор РСМД Тимофеев указал на разочарование украинцев после речи Байдена

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости

Анастасия Волочкова

Анастасию Волочкову задержала полиция за скандал на борту самолёта

News Every Day

How a Family of Saffron Farmers Harvests the World s Most Expensive Spice Vendors

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости
"Воскресенье " Олег Митяев

Персональные новости
Близкий друг Путина миллиардер Пугачев. Вся правда о Путине, его семье и деньгах. В гостях у Гордона (2021)

Навальный об уволенном за пост священнике (2021)

Slava Marlow – суперуспех и депрессия в 21 год / вДудь (2021)

Обнаглевшие дети путинской элиты (2021)

Дайте собакам мяса (новый звук) -Владимир Высоцкий

Группа "Рождество" - песня "Так хочется жить!" (Видео с концерта в Киеве группы "РОЖДЕСТВО" в 2011 году в Доме офицеров)

Adriano Celentano Любимая песня Челентано (высочайшая энергетика) talentTV