This article is part of the "America's Army: 2023 Year in Review" content series. To view the rest of the big Army news from this year, visit the website at Army.mil/YearInReview.
WASHINGTON — The Army continued to deliver the most advanced weapons systems and equipment into the hands of Soldiers in 2023.
The service broke new ground in shipping the first Directed Energy, Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense or DE M-SHORAD prototype systems to Soldiers and the Army also received the latest model of the Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems, or IVAS.
After the Army’s Integrated Battle Command System reached full-rate production status in April, the service followed that feat by demonstrating the first successful launch of a Tomahawk missile from its prototype Mid-Range Capability system.
Finally, the Army honored the service of two Soldiers from two major campaigns in naming its newest infantry assault vehicle. The upgrades bring the Army closer to building the Army of 2030 by investing in its top priority, its people and its Soldiers.
DE M-SHORAD system: In September, the successful delivery of the Directed Energy, MSHORAD system to the newly-reactivated Delta Battery of 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Fort Sill, made Delta Battery the first tactical, directed-energy capable unit.
The laser weapons system will not only be a deterrent against enemy forces but can counter against relevant threats with air defense protection. The service classified the DE M-SHORAD system as an urgent acquisition program that provides commanders with greater freedom to maneuver.
Members of the battery underwent extensive training in the fall of 2022 to prepare to operate the prototype. Soldiers simulated an attack using a vehicle with the same weight and power of the prototype.
IVAS: The Army reached a new milestone in July when Soldiers received 20 of the latest model of IVAS, the 1.2 variant. The system features an all-weather headset and next-generation, situational awareness tools with a mixed reality display. IVAS provides Soldiers with high resolution simulations, giving Soldiers enhanced capabilities in both in day and night conditions.
The development of the IVAS will result in fielding several years ahead of standard acquisition programs.
Using augmented reality, the headset enhances a Soldier’s ability to navigate in hostile environments. When dismounting, the IVAS’s low-light sensors help the user identify targets and surrounding vehicles.
The IVAS system also has a built-in Squad Immersive Virtual Trainer, which teaches Soldiers to use the headset to solve objective-based dilemmas and battle scenarios.
Tribute to veterans: The Army announced that it named its newest combat vehicle, the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle, after Medal of Honor recipient Robert Booker, a World War II veteran, and Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker, a Distinguished Service Cross recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The service announced it awarded the $257.6 million production contract to Michigan-based General Dynamics Land Systems in July. Designers built the armored vehicle to be highly maneuverable and mobile, resembling a light tank.
Army leaders commemorated the renaming during a ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Army in June as part of the service’s 248th birthday celebration. In addition, the Army selected Alabama’s Anniston Army Depot as the repair depot for the vehicle.
Mid-Range firepower: The Army fired intermediate range, subsonic Tomahawk missiles from a prototype system at an undisclosed location on June 27.
Soldiers from the 1st Domain Task Force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington carried out the test with assistance from the Navy. The test marks an important step to strengthening the Army’s top modernization priority: long-range precision fires. The MRC system will support the joint, multi-domain mission.
Soldiers contributed to the testing and development of the MRC, according to the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Major milestone: The Army announced in April that its Integrated Battle Command System, or IBCS, had reached full rate production.
The Army Acquisition Support Center describes the IBCS as a fire control and operational center, providing accurate targeting and a wider battlespace. Using sensors and effectors in one command and control system, IBCS lets Soldiers see the battlefield more effectively.
IBCS will replace older command and control systems which in turn will improve coordinated engagements and positive control of sensors and weapons.
Network testing with NATO allies: Soldiers in Hohenfels, Germany tested the Army’s Integrated Tactical Network during Exercise Dragoon Ready 23. The ITN provides voice and data communication capabilities to units in the field.
About 2,500 U.S. Soldiers in field artillery, fire control, operations, and signal support systems participated, along with troops from NATO allies Italy and the United Kingdom. The Soldiers simulated operating in austere environments while learning unified land operations with partner nations.
Army News Service