HUNTSVILLE, AL--There was a lot to see at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium. All sorts of technology on display and enough scale models to outfit a museum. There was also one very special full-sized, multi-ton Armored Army vehicle. "Short range aircraft defense is one of the top Army needs of the day," said Jim Leary of Boeing.
Answering the need is the reason for that special vehicle. Boeing took its Avenger Air Defense Missile launch system and General Dynamics took its Stryker Armored Vehicle and the two big defense companies made one vehicle. They did that, quickly. "Gosh, that's almost impossible to do in nine months, but we were able to do that, and we recognize that's the way of the future," said Kendall Linson of General Dynamics.
The new vehicle with its launcher mounted on a Stryker vehicle is facing some significant testing this fall. Officials at Boeing and General Dynamics believe their creation has a chance to be in the Army inventory. They like the fact the Avenger launch system has been around since 1987, and is proven technology. "It may be a legacy launcher, but it's shooting state of the art advanced missiles and affectors," said Jim Leary. "So us being able to integrate it on one of the largest platforms in the Army inventory....41-hundred I think...it's a great idea," said Kendall Linson.
If the new Stryker-Avenger hybrid is chosen by the Army it would be the 11th variant of the Stryker in use. "So, it's ready to go. It's a prototype and then because it's an existing system the lines are already open, or could be open very quickly," said Leary.
Boeing and General Dynamics officials are proud of the quick action to come up with the answer to an Army problem. They say they're confident it will pass coming tests with no problem. They believe their teamwork is a good example of the way to do things, and certainly the kind of thing that often comes out of the SMD Symposium.