The Avenger Gets a Serious Upgrade

Check out this video of Boeing’s pitch for an updated Avenger air defense system that’s video pro, Glenn Anderson, shot during the Association of the U.S. Army’s big convention in DC back in October. 

The original Humvee-mounted Avenger first entered service in the 1980s and was armed with eight Stinger surface to air missiles. As you can see, the engineers at Boeing decided to have a little fun in designing an Avenger on steroids. They put it on an Oshkosh M-ATV and equipped it with everything from a Bushmaster chain gun and various missiles to a laser.

  • Marcase

    Hope this M-ATV Avenger isn’t as top-heavy as the Humvee Avenger was…

    • Marcase

      Btw, if this one could have C-RAM capability, it could actually be usefull instead of being a concept demonstrator.

  • Brenden

    That would be some fun S*** to roll with, a lot more fire power to put down pretty quickly on little ole haji. Plus you don’t have to take the beating you normally get in a turret of an MRAP! I guess I haven’t seen if they have put crow systems on any MRAPs, love the crow system too though!

  • William C.

    Seems pretty useful. I think that is the Bushmaster 25x59mm chain gun however which uses the same ammunition planned for the XM307. Not much of an anti-air capability on that.

    • YourNotInreality

      what country has effectively used air support against us in the last 50 years?

  • Day

    looks intersting. might be a “putting all your eggs in one basket” type invention, but nevertheless, thats some serious firepower.

    • DEE

      As in IED bait. But no different than BIFV or M1.

      • Matt

        But wasnt the M-ATV designed to be resistent to IEDs?

        • blight

          Nothing resists a few 155mm’s strung together. And even then, all M-ATVs design guarantees is that the people inside won’t be obliterated. They may still die if the IED is big enough, the vehicle is definitely disabled and unable to retaliate. Or the nature of the IED changes, and the opponent may opt for shaped charges and EFPs. Maybe one day they’ll design top-attack weapons and totally screw us.

          • Day

            They already have the EFP’s down pat, it cant be to long till they gain top attack capability.

        • TMB

          IED resistant isn’t the same thing as IED proof. As someone once said, “there’s no problem in the world that can’t be solved by enough high explosives.” In the race of building a better tank vs building a bigger bomb, the bomb will always win.

          • Matt

            I didnt say it was IED proof. All I ment was that the MRAP Avenger would have more IED protection (at least from simplier ones) than if this turret was on a HMMWV, right?

  • SJE

    They should sell toy versions of these too: they look perfect for my son.

    • “Dear Santa…

      My son and I have similar, yet very different wishlists this year…”

    • Darrel Kemble

      go to ghq models, 200 scale, they have the HMMMV mounted averger.
      Doc Kem

  • anonymous

    Finally we have something more expensive to shoot down that pesky insurgent air-force, oh wait…

    • prometheusgonewild

      While I agree somewhat with your sentiment, it would be great if the military made everything multi-role.
      The military does not know what conflict will come next. The Avengers have probably been sitting at a base unused for decades.
      This upgraded system could be used in any conflict, anywhere.
      That is money well spent.

      • Sev

        It can help shoot down there mortars.

        • blight

          Joke? A missile to shoot down a cheap ballistic mortar round is just laughable. I guess you could spam bullets at it ala CIWS but that has its own problems-ammunition expenditures per mortar shot down is just the beginning.

          • Mike

            And what’s that system the Israelis are fielding?

            Yep I’m pretty sure that’s designed to destroy ANY incoming projectile from a mortar to a Scud.

            Nothing is impossible, merely difficult to achieve. I mean look at the active defense measures being built to destory incoming RPG’s… they are small, bloody fast and they don’t travel nearly as far. Oh yeah another Israeli design…

  • IPMyself

    A 20mm Gatling gun, or 30mm chain gun, and some TOW2 is pretty much all you need for this thing. Also a good psychological weapon like a M1. I prefer that over the 12.7mm and 40mm armaments of the ASV.

    • dave calhoun

      and a trailer to haul ammo! The old Vulcan filled the whole crew compartment with the magazine for the 20mm for less than 1 minute of firepower….

      I do like the idea that is can be configured for other missions besides air defense, though.

  • blight

    Turning ADA into gun trucks is old hat. Look at the Duster..

    Look to the Russians who have SPAAGs which have decent cannon and anti air missiles. A successor to SGT York might be next?

  • William C.

    Seems like they are designing this to have uses in both today’s and tommorows conflict. In somewhere like Iraq, you would load this up with rockets and a chain gun to give a convoy some real firepower. While otherwise you could just load up four AIM-9X Sidewinders and use it as a modern version of the Chaparral.

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Morning Folks,

    Oh what the heck, buy a few dozen, they can’t cost that much, oh I forgot this is Boeing, although they haven’t any targets to engage they would be cool at county fairs and to drive up to High Schools for recruiting.

    Did anybody else notice the conspicuous absence of the F-22 this past week in the SKorean war games?

    I guess the F-22 is just to gash darn expensive to get anywhere near someone who might have a SAM, although it is doubtful with NKorea. The Navy’s F/A-18’s would have protected them.


    Byron Skinner

    • Cappy

      Does seem odd, that the F22 hanger queen is not on patrol. Not based anywhere out the US, so logistically, is the reason. But the Korean F15k is probably better and more capable anyway, in almost all cases.

      • blight

        I wonder if it has anything to do with the Alaska crash.

        • Sev

          Maybe, but I doubt it. It was probably pilot error, but then again it’s speculation on my part. They reported that he misadjusted the trim. In any case even our F16s are superior to anything North Korea has.

  • Tribulation time

    Well adds a shrapnel armor, a cammo for building areas, command vehicle w/t passive (EO or others) fire directors, optic fiber net, a security infantry platoon, pair vehicles (one bigger gun and other one bigger missill) place in second line of edifices (inside the city) hide them ( for wait) inside commercial locals and you get most like a fortress in current warfare. US not need it that fashion (Iran, Syria, The Big NK, maybe) but more punch for protect M1/M2 columns in march Yes!!. Stingers & 50 cal it isnt a threat anymore. Wake Up Neo!! Convential warfare occurs yet…..Follow Red Rabbit.

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Afternoon Folks,

    Hi Cappy. It is rather odd that the F-22 made a photo op with the GWBG earlier this year during war games in the Sea of Japan.

    I doubt if the Alaska crash was a factor blight. These war games are planned months if not years in advance. If anything one wold assume that the USAF would be anxious to show the F-22 skeptics that the accident had no effect of readiness of the F-22.


    Byron Skinner

    • blight

      If you were making the rules in the air force, and had to weigh the possibility of having a second crash in the middle of a war game with North Korea…no thanks. Same as when the Air Force grounded large portions of the F15 fleet to investigate failures, even though the F-15 is our mainline fighter.

  • Andrew Wright

    Considering todays threat (insurgents) a quad .50 on back of a LMTV might be just as effective and more useful.

  • Roland

    Great, now install it on navy fast boats, ships, jeeps, mtvs, tracks , tanks right away. Chikons and Noks have this since 1960’s.

    • Brenden

      A computer manned system that does not require a person operating the weapons systems at all times, other than a remote device. Who in the world had that during the 60’s? Put yourself in a turrett for a push from Kuwait to say Tikrit or Balad, or Al Asad. I would have loved to have had this for my deployment, a lot more protection for the soldier, a lot more fire power, and you don’t have to bounce around as much. Great for convoy missions!

  • pedestrian

    Just attach the APKWS II/DAGR and slip it into the Stinger Pod!
    Just attach the APKWS II/DAGR and slip it into the Stinger Pod!
    Just attach the APKWS II/DAGR and slip it into the Stinger Pod!

    Yahoo! An alternative to ADATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jacob

    I have to say that seeing a businessman in a suit playing around with missiles and chainguns is a little bit disgusting. War is a serious and ugly affair where people get killed, and these someone gets it in their head to try making it look as pretty as possible?

    • blight

      This is as close to war as any guy in a suit is willing to get. Oil won’t come out of the cleaners, nor would they risk their precious italian handmade suits for something like national security.

      I mean if they’re engineers designing the stuff that does the job then my hats off to them. But inevitably, suits are just the people who sell the goods or make the riches.

      • TMB

        I was at one of these trade shows in uniform a couple years ago looking at the JLTV prototypes and talking to the contractors. When a full bird with a guy in a suit walked up behind me, the AM General guy literally stopped talking to me (army captain) and diverted his attention to the colonel.

        • Mastro

          Salesmen have been doing that for centuries. Drive up to a luxury car lot in an old econobox and see how much attention you get compared to the guy in a sports car.

          So- did you end up buying anything?

    • Jim

      I know the guy in the video. I served with him in the Marine Corps. He has done a number of combat tours over the last 30 years. I guess when you retire,you should wear your uniform, ribbons and medals for the rest of your life. Rick worked with me on a program and when we felt we couldn’t provide the warfighter with what they needed, we pulled out of the competition. It’s easy to question someone’s motivations and motives when you don’t really know anything about them.

  • ivan

    im so happy i left ada for the infantry. the avenger was a maintenance nightmare. hopefully they do a better job with it this time. maybe this time they will make it so you can fire the machine gun without locking on so you can engage ground troops effectively rather than just locking on.

    for all of you bashing that we dont need this capability…shut up. i would rather have and not need than to need and not have.

    • blight

      Well, the American military made the choice of neglecting air defense, the airborne and until OIF, the military police.

    • adude

      “Would rather have and not need than to need and not have.”

      Meanwhile the American student falls farther and farther behind international standard. Don’t get me wrong, military spending is important, but it shouldn’t be the uncompromising winner of all budget debate.

      • William C.

        And how will throwing money at education problems fix this? I’ve seen plenty of colleges and the problem doesn’t seem to be a lack of funding.

        • Colonel Compiler

          And how will throwing money at the military fix their problems, like fiscal mismanagement? The question cuts both ways.

  • Noah

    Bryon skinner, should not be allowed to post on your site. I know this comment won’t make it on the thread but really mods, he ruins the flow of the room with his crappy grammer. more people will be looking at your site through gizmodo so do a better job of choosing who makes it on the front.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I find it hilarious that you complain about his grammar, yet your post is riddled with mistakes.

      Bryon Skinner is one of the best commentators I have seen on the internet regarding defense insight. Yet you, a nobody, would criticize his contributions.

    • blight

      This comment did make it because DT doesn’t repress every comment because you hate it. As far as I can infer (short of a DD214, and based on a google search and comments on the DT) he served with the Blackhorse in Vietnam, so I imagine he has at least a right to voice his piece on a blog devoted to military technology.

      If you want to read “omg lets blast Chinamen” because it’s short enough for a twitter feed you hit the wrong site.

  • Jonathan

    If those missiles could shoot down incoming artillery or missiles, then it would be doubly cool.

    It looks badass though.

    Im sure its pretty good at shooting down helicopers and airplanes. The chain gun looks fun and those rocket pods on the side look like they are serious business.

    Now if only we could get the cost below 40 trillion per unit.

  • Joe Schmoe

    This system looks like an answer searching for a problem to solve.

    • D.K.

      You sure about that? Having an air defense system that can be used against ground targets seems to me like it would be a great benefit seeing how it would mean that anti-air units could actually take part in current COIN ops rather than just sit around doing nothing.

  • Daniel Brush

    Wish we could see some field tests. As for Skinner, I’m not too worried about SE
    Asia, as far as China/Japan go. Just blowing smoke. Japan’s a major military ally of ours. Neither us nor China want to exchange fire with each other. We’re economic rivals, and true, our reelationship is shaky, but no one would gain over a grudge war. And no one is humiliating anyone. An open invitation to observe the game isn’t rubbing someones nose in anything. It’s transparency; a sign of openess and cooperation with an important ally.

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Evening Folks,

    When ever Boeing takes it personal and send out the “paid posters” on me I know there is something more the what appears, in this case a whole lot more then is being shown.

    When I first saw this post I didn’t even bother with it, just another toy advertisement for those with active imaginations, then I saw the connection with the LCS and I posted. Then the personal attacks came and I got a couple of private posts suggesting I look up a Boeing Project called “Boeing Truck Mounted Laser Program” and BAMB it all fell in place.

    Here’s the deal folks, Boeing has invested anywhere from $50-$60 million of it’s own funds, like in real money, into development of the Truck Mounted tactical Laser. Forget about the missiles or the 25mm gun, they are only there to appeal to the simpletons.

    This program is far from ready for any testing or manufacturing, the estimated cost to get this system which nobody in the Pentagon asked for ready for production is estimated by Boeing to be $100 Billion. Thats a lot of cash.

    Any Admiral or General who speaks out for this program is committing career suicide.

    This is a pure power play by Boeing to get tax payers money for something that was not asked for, something not needed, ask yourself when was the last time an Avenger engaged a hostile aircraft in a combat zone, this is the text book example of what is WRONG with procurement and acquisition at the Department of Defense.

    Boeing speculated on this, and they lost. That how the system works, it not up to the taxpayers to cover their bad bets. To the new members of Congress, this is out in the light of day now, don’t let Boeing sneak this into some project to cover their bad bet. Make Boeing eat it investment as any other company would have to do.

    Thanks to Joe for his kind words. You just exposed $100 billion dollars in needless procurements. You get my vote for the Tea Party Medal.


    Byron Skinner

    • Jitter

      Skinner man, I’m a Gulf War vet conservative, and believe in the free market system. The business is always in it for the money, so don’t state the “no sh*t” comments. They are always going to offer a product, what the hell do you think these shows are about? Nothing has been bought yet, and this thing is not going to be. Take a bet. Paid posters? Really man? Don’t make yourself look foolish.

  • Mastro

    Been reading about the Korean War where the Duster was used to great effect against infantry.

    Might be good to have a few- we shouldn’t ignore AAA when we might need it against China etc-

    In the meantime hosing down insurgents might be useful.

    Oh- I don’t like the infra red seeking- why don’t we like laser guidance like the Swedes?

    • William C.

      Infrared guidance like that used by the Sidewinder and Stinger provides a true “fire and forget” capability unlike laser guidance. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

      If that is indeed a Starstreak launcher above the .50 cal on this missile, that uses a unique SACLOS and laser guided system.

  • roland

    Hopefully they add more launch pads on the turret ,say 8-16 launch pads for the long and short range missiles. We can also use/ install these turrets on fast-small long range-speed boats, ships, tanks, trucks, jeeps and on the ground. These equipment will defend and support our troops in times of conflict or war.

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Morning Folks,

    Folks about any missiles on this “Avenger”. On this truck you will have all the electronics, gas bottles and generators to run a Laser. Do any of you really believe that missiles would be launched for the bed of that truck?

    The missiles and the M-307 is just decorations to excited the imagination of manboys.

    This is nothing more then a show vehicle to promote the Laser which Boeing has lad only limited success on. This can be called FCS II. Get a small contract for what ever this is and milk it for a generation and then have nothing but canceled checks to Boeing Stock Holders show for it. II recall that the $200 billion FCS started out as a $35 million design contract to Boeing and SAIC or a family of IFV’s.


    Byron Skinner

    • blight

      R&D is reimbursed by the government, and if there’s cost plus then profit without risk is utterly guaranteed. Great deal for a company.

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Morning Folks,

    To Jody and the others who E-Mailed me on this. The Avenger is a tactical air defense system that can be found in the TO&E (table of organization and equipment) of BCT’s (Brigade Combat Teams) and higher.

    To the best of my knowledge because of absolute US air dominance, the Avenger doesn’t deploy to the war zones. Any problems that might arise in this are are covered by the patriot, which is a theater level weapon system or the so call MANPAD which the US version is the Stinger and I’ve been told that in battalion HQ’s and above there are MOS qualified Stinger Teams. The Stinger in the US system I believe is treated like any other disposable munition.

    I’m sure other poster will point out any errors in the above “factual statement” so I won’t bother explaining any more..

    Most of the Avengers I have seen of late have been on DHS duty, mostly during city wide DS WMD drills. This would lead to the assumption that many of, if not most Avenger Units are in the National Guard and not the active military.

    On the Avenger maintenance problems, I have no first hand knowledge but perhaps the poster who mentioned this will explain more about what he/she ware discussing.

    In general the Avenger is a system that currently fills the roll tactical air defense, if needed, and I can’t recall seeing any reason for an upgrade and the addition of a uber-expensive laser that will take decades to become operational.

    All of you know the current budget problems better the I do, and frankly this project although which may have huge long term economy wide benefits just can’t be financed through the DoD budget.


    Byron Skinner