A Modest Proposal for a Containerized Weapon System

Leonardo DRS has been chosen to provide the mission equipment package (rendering pictured) atop a Stryker combat vehicle to serve as the Interim Maneuver-Short-Range Air Defense system for the U.S. Army. (Courtesy of Leonardo DRS)

     After the recent report of Russia containerizing anti-air missile systems I got to thinking about containerized systems the Coast Guard might use. There are many systems that might be containerized–sonars, torpedo countermeasures, cruise missiles, drones, 120mm mortars, medical facilities, but there is one combination I found particularly appealing.
     We could tie into the Army’s attempt to develop a new short range air defense system (SHORAD) by mounting a marinized version of the SHORAD turret on a container.  The systems are meant to fire on the move, so they should be able to deal with ship’s movement. The container might be armored to some extent to protect it from splinters and small arms. The container could be equipped to provide power (external connection, generator, and battery), air conditioning, air filtration, etc as the supporting vehicle would have in the Army system.  It looks like the planned interim SHORAD system will include Stinger, Hellfire, an M230 30mm gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. If we could mount some additional vertical launch Hellfire in the container, so much the better.
     For the Coast Guard these might be used on icebreakers and buoy tenders when they go into contested areas. They might be mounted on the stern of FRCs in lieu of the over the horizon boat using an adapter over the stern ramp, when additional firepower is required. 
     The Army and Marines might also use these containerized systems as prefab base defense systems. As fixed ground defenses, the containers might be buried leaving only the turret above ground level.
     They could also be used on Military Sealift Command and Merchant ships to provide a degree of self defense.

6 thoughts on “A Modest Proposal for a Containerized Weapon System

  1. Leonardo DRS is the prime on the IM-SHORAD system, I believe they it is based on the JLTV weapons platform from Moog. I remember reading the key for Leonard winning was that their solution was far easier to implement than the Boeing solution. Boeing weapons platform would have required a new or significantly modified turret for the Styker, while Leonardo weapon’s platform can be plugged into existing turret.

    https://www.moog.com/content/dam/moog/literature/Space_Defense/Defense_Literature/RIwP_datasheet.pdf

  2. Yes, the Leonardo DRS RiWP turret would be an ideal “Force Multiplier” for OPCs, NSCs, FRCs, and USSOCOM small boats if it can be weatherproofed against the salt air and should replace the MK38 25mm on the hangar roof of OPCs. It would be ideal as a replacement for the LCS’s 30mm turrets if they can enclose the top against the elements.

    Mounting 2.75″ APKWS rockets, a Javelin ATGM, two Hellfires, or four-Stinger pod would give it some longer range guided punch. Great selection, Chuck!

  3. A M1126 weighs 18 tons. An empty container about 5K lbs. I suspect that the SHORAD system, when firing ordnance, packs a kick (recoil) so you would need a “mount” (the container) that could handle the recoil. Putting extra weight like that on a ship would affect stability. Probably have to reduce weight elsewhere on the ship to support the system

    • Certainly this system, even with some armor, would weigh less than an M1126, but even that would have little effect on an icebreaker or large buoy tender. In the case of the Webber class it might have more effect, but removal of the boat to make room for it would provide some compensation.

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