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Ground Based Air Defence

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Joint Ground Based Air Defence (Jt GBAD) is the formation headquarters for UK Ground Based Air Defence and is responsible for delivering a coherent and effective Ground Based Air Defence capability and an Air Picture to the Land Environment to support UK Operations.

Following the successful provision of Air Defence to the Olympic Games in August 2012 and the withdrawal of Automated Sense and Warn (AS&W) from Afghanistan, Jt GBAD has concentrated on the Standing Military Tasks (MT3) of providing enduring Short Range Air Defence (SHORAD) protection of key assets on the Falkland Islands. This task is met with the Rapier Field Standard C weapon system operated by 16th Regiment Royal Artillery.

Of most significance; GBAD has implemented A2020 outcomes, which in early 2014 saw the Formation expand to take command of all Army Air Defence assets. This more than doubled the size of the organisation and increased its responsibility to include Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD), with the High Velocity Missile (HVM) systems of both 12th Regiment Royal Artillery and the GBAD Reserve unit, 106th Regiment Royal Artillery.

 These forces are heavily committed to the Field Army, and both Armoured and Light Role Air Assault capabilities are held at readiness against the Vanguard Lead Armoured Task Force (LATF) and the Air Assault Task Force (AATF) respectively.

In addition, early 2015 saw the introduction into service of the Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) capability belonging to 49 (Inkerman) Battery Royal Artillery under the command of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery. This system can both generate a local air picture, then fuse and disseminate a Recognised Air Picture, based around the Giraffe-Agile Multi Beam (G-AMB) radar.

 It provides early Air Defence warning at Brigade and Divisional level and can assist with Battlespace Management. This capability is in high demand across Defence; it is also held at readiness against the AATF, LATF and the Vanguard Armoured Infantry Brigade (VAIB).


  1. Rapier FSC


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    Rapier is a British surface-to-air missile developed for the RAF Regiment and the British Army. Entering service in 1972, it eventually replaced all other anti-aircraft weapons in Army service; guns for low-altitude targets, and the Thunderbird (missile),[4] used against longer-range and higher-altitude targets. It replaced Bofors guns and Tigercat missiles in RAF service. As the expected air threat moved from medium-altitude strategic missions to low-altitude strikes, the fast reaction time and high manoeuvrability of the Rapier made it more formidable than either of these weapons, replacing most of them by 1977. It remains the UK's primary air-defence weapon after almost 35 years of service, and its deployment is expected to continue until 2020
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