We usually leave the air-defense discussion to Chockblock, since that’s his area of expertise. But we thought we’d toss this one up because we were a little surprised to see it.
Air Defense Artillery in the Army has been getting a lot of funding and attention for its role in Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), focusing mainly on the Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) programs. The only other program getting attention for a long time was the Stinger and its variants.
US forces have pretty much been free from interference from enemy air attack for 50 years, so Air Defense doesn’t always get a lot of budget attention. So, we were somewhat surprised to see even this small $30 million budget allocation for long lead items for a program that’s been around awhile. The SLAMRAAM is basically what its name says, a surface launched variant of the primary US air-to-air missile, the AIM-120 AMRAAM or Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile. Likely changes to the missile include a different motor better suited to ground launch. Whereas the AMRAAM normally works with a mid-course update from the launching aircraft’s radar, it is likely that the ground launch version would only be used in the “fire and forget” mode. The press release is unclear wether the program is intended for the Army, the Marines (the Army buys missiles for them) or for foreign purchasers.
Sorry there’s no sound to the clip, but I think you get the gist of it.