The delivery of the Advanced Short Range Air Defence System ASRAD Hellas to Greece is an important step in the transformation of the Hellenic Army. ASRAD Hellas will enhance the combat power of light, air-transportable units in combination with mechanized forces, enabling the effective engagement of all types of aerial targets.
ASRAD Hellas is the most advanced and most formidable short-range air defense system anywhere. It was designed especially with the new tasks of the Greek Armed Forces in mind, and for international missions in particular, where the Hellenic Army’s air defense capability will prove to be a valuable asset.
In August 2000 the Hellenic Army decided to procure 54 vehicle-mounted Stinger systems. In the face of stiff international competition the Bremen-based company Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH (RDE), formerly known as STN Atlas Elektronik GmbH, won a contract encompassing co-operation agreements with Hellenic Defence Systems (HDS), its Greek partner, then known as EBO, as well as extensive offset agreements. Since June 2004 the Hellenic Army has taken receipt of the first three systems – which have now already entered service – out of a total of 54 ASRAD-Hellas fire units.
The ASRAD Hellas is configured to enable reliable target detection, identification and engagement at day and night under all possible conditions of visibility and weather. Thanks to its modularity and flexibility the ASRAD Hellas fire unit embodies significant growth potential, permitting it to operate with passive and active surveillance sensors such as infrared search and track devices and external 2D or 3D surveillance radars. The system is operated by a 2-man team, consisting of the driver, who has the secondary task of air space observer, and the operator of the weapon system.
ASRAD Hellas is related to the German Army’s LeFlaSys light mechanized air defence system, and especially to its OZELOT fire unit, a very light, highly mobile and air transportable system. A modular missile system featuring high firepower for day and night operation, each ASRAD-Hellas weapon system carries four ready-to-fire Stinger missiles and holds an additional four missiles ready for a fast reload.
This Stinger platform is identical with the platform of the OZELOT fire unit of Germany’s VSHORAD program, which is one of the most modern VSHORAD systems worldwide. As carrier vehicle the Hellenic Army opted for the HMMWV produced by ELBO/AMG. The complete ASRAD weapon system is installed in the rear of the vehicle. It comprises the pedestal with a sensor package containing an infrared camera (FLIR), a daylight camera and a laser rangefinder. The pedestal can be elevated for operation and has a 360° pivot radius as well as an extensive elevation range (-10° to +70°).
The sensor and system electronics include missile interface electronics, an automatic video tracker and two multipurpose launchers for four ready-to-fire Stinger missiles.
Besides the Stinger, ASRAD fire units are generally capable of firing other types of missile as well. A modified version of the Russian IGLA missile is qualified and approved for use with the German LeFlaSys, while the ASRAD-R configuration of the system can fire laser-guided missiles such as RBS 70 and Bolide, both produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics of Sweden.
The main advantages of the ASRAD-Hellas are:
--Rapid deployment (less than five minutes after unloading e.g. from a helicopter)
--Rapid reaction (ready to fire in less than ten seconds)
--Reliable multi target capability
--High operational availability
--Automatic system operation mode (avoidance of human errors)
--Ease of operation, training and maintenance
--Automatic system test (built-in test equipment/BITE)
--Stationary defense (fixed assets, area defense, remote control mode)
--Mobile defense (convoys, task forces, maneuvering elements)
--Cooperative logistics among user nations
--Large growth potential due to the modular system concept
For integrated system operations during national and international missions, the ASRAD Hellas can be equipped with additional C3I interface software for network-enabled operations and links to upper echelon allied operation centers.
The system can be deployed in either stationary or mobile mode. Limitations of the Stinger missile with respect to pitch and roll acceleration on the move have had to be taken into account. During stationary operation the control and display unit (CDU) can be separated from the vehicle and connected to the system by a cable for remote operation. The maximum distance for remote control is 100 meters.
Following Germany and Finland, Greece is now the third European nation relying on SHORAD know-how from RDE.