21 Jul 04. EDO Corporations gave BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold a comprehensive brief on its ECM system SHORTSTOP. SHORTSTOP is a life-saving system that protects people and equipment from proximity-fused weapons such as mortar rounds, rockets, and artillery shells.
SHORTSTOP is an electronic countermeasures system that detects signals emitted from proximity-fused weapons, modifies the signal and sends it back to the weapon making the fuze think it is close to the ground. The fuze then prematurely detonates the warhead rendering the weapon essentially harmless.
SHORTSTOP works automatically, silently and cannot be electronically jammed. The system acts as an “electronic umbrella” that can protect military forces, equipment, personnel and high value assets. It is effective against single shot and barrage attacks. Soldiers can be proficient in set-up, operation and maintenance of the Shortstop system after just a few hours of training. Analysis indicates deployment of SHORTSTOP against these weapons can increase survival by as much as 80% during an initial attack.
EDO CCS has built three versions of SHORTSTOP for use in a variety of military applications and deployments. Mobile platoons, light divisions and battalions as well as special operations units will use a man-pack version weighing just 25-pounds and called AN/PLQ-7. HMMWVs, trucks and armored personnel carriers will be equipped with the AN/VLQ-11. A stand-alone unit called the AN/GLQ-16 will stand guard over barracks, airfields, aircraft, communications and intelligence sites, command posts and other high value positions.
The Shortstop program was initiated in 1990 by the US Central Command as a quick-reaction response capability for Operation Desert Strom. Intelligence reports at the time indicated that many of the Iraqi indirect fire munitions were equipped with radio proximity fuzes. EDO CCS received the Army’s first production contract in 1998 for 44 units. These 44 systems were deployed to US Army Europe (USAREUR). Since 1998 annual contracts continue with over 288 SHORTSTOP delivered. Units have been deployed to Kuwait, Kosovo, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia and other US Army Commands.
In 2001 the National Guard Bureau established requirements for Shortstop systems for the Army National Guard. A congressional Plus-up from the Fy01 Supplemental enabled 18 Shortstop to be delivered to the ARNG. The first systems fielded were to the Pennsylvania ARNG for their rotation to Bosnia and to the 20th Special Forces for their support in Enduring Freedom. Subsequently systems have been fielded to South Carolina, Indiana and Minnesota.