The Stinger missile, a full-dimensional protection weapon, is the Army’s system for short-range air defense that provides the ground maneuver commander force protection against low-altitude airborne targets such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missiles. The Stinger is launched from a number of platforms: Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle, Bradley Linebacker, Avenger (HMMWV), and helicopters as well as Man Portable Air Defense (MANPADS).
The Stinger is a man-portable, shoulder-fired guided missile system which enables the soldier to effectively engage low-altitude jet, propeller-driven and helicopter aircraft. Developed by the United States Army Missile Command, the Stinger was the successor to the Redeye Weapon System. The system is a “fire-and-forget” weapon employing a passive infrared seeker and proportional navigation system. Stinger also is designed for the threat beyond the 1990s, with an all-aspect engagement capability, and IFF (Identification-Friend-or-Foe), improved range and maneuverability, and significant countermeasures immunity. The missile, packaged within its disposable launch tube, is delivered as a certified round, requiring no field testing or direct support maintenance. A separable, reusable gripstock is attached to the round prior to use and may be used again.
STINGER was also be employed by the Pedestal-Mounted Stinger Air Defense Vehicle and the Light Armored Vehicle, Air Defense Variant (LAV-AD) during the 1990s.
The Stinger anti-aircraft missile was designed to hit incoming aircraft better than 60 percent of the time. But if it had been placed in service as originally designed, it would actually have achieved hits only 30 percent of the time when operated by soldiers in combat units. The Stinger’s problems were eventually corrected.
The first combat use of the basic STINGER weapon system by U.S. troops occurred with the deployment of 27 STINGER teams in the U.S. airborne assault against Cuban and local forces on the Caribbean island of Grenada on 25 October 1983.
The system also proved very effective against first line Soviet combat aircraft in Afghanistan. According to a comprehensive 1999 study [by Alan J. Kuperman], some of the estimated 900 to 1,200 Stingers delivered to Afghanistan in the 1980s were diverted while en route through Pakistan. Deployed during both Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm [ODS], the STINGER-RMP provided highly mobile and lethal short range air defense protection to the maneuver forces during the Gulf War. There were also 66 OH-58C Army scout helicopters equipped with air-to-air STINGER deployed during ODS. More>>
Missile Type: 2 stage, low altitude
Length: (missile) 1.52 m
Diameter: (missile) 0.070 m
Wing span: 0.091 m
Weight: (missile (at launch)) 10.1 kg
(launcher (plus missile)) 13.3 kg
(launcher (complete)) 15.7 kg
(battery coolant unit) 0.4 kg
(beltpack IFF system (including connecting lead)) 2.6 kg
(grip-stock) 2 kg
Propulsion: solid fuel ejector and dual-thrust boost/sustainer rocket motors
Guidance: FIM-92A passive IR homing; FIM-92B/C passive IR/UV homing
Warhead: 1 kg HE blast smooth-case fragmentation with time-delay contact fuze
Max speed: M2.2
Max range: 8,000 m
Max effective range: (FIM-92A) greater than 4,000 m
(FIM-92B/C) 4,800 m
Min effective range: 200 m
Max altitude: (FIM-92A) 3,500 m
(FIM-92B/C) 3,800 m
Min altitude: effectively ground level
Launcher: man-portable single-round disposable with reusable grip-stock Source: Global Security.org