MANPADS "Stinger": characteristics and comparison with analogues

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MANPADS "Stinger": characteristics and comparison with analogues
MANPADS "Stinger": characteristics and comparison with analogues

Among modern weapons widely used in local conflicts, MANPADS play an important role. They are widely used both by the armies of various states and by terrorist organizations in the fight against air targets. The American MANPADS "Stinger" is considered a true standard of this type of weapon.

MANPADS stinger

History of creation and implementation

MANPADS "Stinger" was designed and manufactured by the American corporation General Dynamics. The beginning of work on this weapon system dates back to 1967. In 1971, the MANPADS concept was approved by the US Army and accepted as a prototype for further improvement under the FIM-92 index. The following year, its common name "Stinger" was adopted, which is translated from English. means "sting".

Due to technical difficulties, the first real launches of missiles from this complex took place only in mid-1975. Serial production of the Stinger MANPADS began in 1978 to replace the obsolete FIM-43 Red Eye MANPADS,produced since 1968.

In addition to the basic model, more than a dozen different modifications of this weapon were developed and produced.

MANPADS stinger characteristics

World Prevalence

As noted above, the Stinger MANPADS became the successor to the Red Eye MANPADS system. Its missiles are an effective means of combating low- altitude air targets. Currently, complexes of this type are used by the armed forces of the United States and 29 other countries, they are manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems and under license from EADS in Germany. The Stinger weapon system provides reliable air defense for modern ground mobile military formations. Its combat effectiveness has been proven in four major conflicts, in which more than 270 combat aircraft and helicopters were destroyed with its help.


Purpose and characteristics

The considered MANPADS are light, autonomous air defense systems that can be quickly deployed on military platforms in any combat situation. For what purposes can the Stinger MANPADS be used? The characteristics of missiles controlled by reprogrammable microprocessors make it possible to use them both for launching from helicopters in the air-to-air mode to combat air targets, and for air defense in the ground-to-air mode. Immediately after launch, the gunner can freely take cover so as not to fall under return fire, thereby achieving his safety and combatefficiency.

The rocket is 1.52 m long and 70 mm in diameter with four 10 cm high aerodynamic fins (two of which are swivel and two are fixed) in the nose. It weighs 10.1 kg, while the weight of the missile with the launcher is about 15.2 kg.

range MANPADS stinger

Options for MANPADS "Stinger"

- FIM-92A: first version.

- FIM - 92C: rocket with a reprogrammable microprocessor. The influence of external interference was offset by the addition of more powerful digital computer components. In addition, the missile software has now been reconfigured in such a way as to respond quickly and efficiently to new types of countermeasures (jamming and decoys) in a short time. Until 1991, about 20,000 units were produced for the US Army alone.

- FIM-92D: Various modifications have been used in this version in order to increase resistance to interference.

- FIM-92E: Rocket with a reprogrammable Block I microprocessor. The addition of a new rollover sensor, software and control revisions resulted in a significant improvement in the flight control of the rocket. In addition, the effectiveness of hitting small targets, such as unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles and light reconnaissance helicopters, has been improved. The first deliveries began in 1995. Almost the entire US stock of Stinger missiles has been replaced with this version.

- FIM-92F: further improvement of the E version and current production version.

- FIM - 92G: unspecified update foroption D.

- FIM - 92H: D variant upgraded to E version.

- FIM-92I: Block II Reprogrammable Microprocessor Missile. This variant was planned based on version E. Improvements included an infrared homing head. In this modification, target detection distances and the ability to overcome interference have been significantly increased. In addition, changes in the design can significantly increase the range. Although work reached the testing stage, the program was terminated in 2002 due to budgetary reasons.

- FIM-92J: Block I reprogrammable microprocessor missiles have upgraded obsolete components to extend their service life by another 10 years. The warhead is also fitted with a proximity fuze to increase effectiveness against drones.

ADSM, Air Defense Suppression: A variant with an additional passive radar homing head, this variant can also be used against radar installations.

American MANPADS Stinger

Rocket launch method

The American Stinger MANPADS (FIM-92) contains an AIM-92 missile encased in a shock-resistant reusable rigid launch canister. On both ends it is closed with lids. The front of them transmits infrared and ultraviolet radiation, which is analyzed by the homing head. During launch, this cover is broken by a rocket. The back cover of the container is destroyed by a jet of gases from the starting accelerator. Due to the fact that the accelerator nozzles are located underinclination relative to the axis of the rocket, it acquires rotational motion even when leaving the launch container. After the rocket leaves the container, four stabilizers are opened in its tail section, which are located at an angle to the body. Due to this, a torque acts on its axis in flight.

After the rocket departs at a distance of up to 8 m from the operator, the launch accelerator is separated from it and the main two-stage engine is started. It accelerates the rocket to a speed of 2.2M (750 m/s) and maintains it throughout the flight.

firing range MANPADS stinger

Method of missile guidance and detonation

Let's continue to consider the most famous US MANPADS. The Stinger uses a passive infrared airborne target finder. It does not emit radiation that aircraft can detect, but instead captures the infrared energy (heat) emitted by an aerial target. Since the Stinger MANPADS operates in passive homing mode, this weapon complies with the “fire and forget” principle, which does not require any instructions from the operator after the shot, unlike other missiles that need to adjust their trajectory from the ground. This allows the Stinger operator to start hitting other targets immediately after firing.

High-explosive warhead weighs 3 kg with impact fuse and self-destruct timer. The warhead consists of an infrared targeting sensor, a fuse section, and one pound of high explosive contained in a cylinder ofpyrophoric titanium. The fuse is extremely safe and does not allow the missile to be detonated by any type of electromagnetic radiation in combat conditions. Warheads can only be detonated on impact with a target or due to self-destruct, which occurs between 15 and 19 seconds after launch.

New aiming device

The latest versions of MANPADS are equipped with a standard AN / PAS-18 sight. This is a rugged, lightweight thermal sight that attaches to a launch canister, allowing missiles to be launched at any time of the day. The device is designed to detect aircraft and helicopters beyond the maximum range of the missile.

The main function of the AN / PAS-18 is to increase the effectiveness of MANPADS. It operates in the same range of the electromagnetic spectrum as the missile's infrared finder and detects any sources of infrared radiation that the missile can detect. This feature also allows for auxiliary functions of night observation. Working passively in the infrared spectrum, the AN / PAS-18 allows the gunner to give target designations to fire from MANPADS in complete darkness and in conditions of limited visibility (for example, fog, dust and smoke). Day or night, the AN / PAS-18 can detect aircraft at high altitude. Under optimal conditions, detection can be at a distance of 20 to 30 kilometers. The AN/PAS-18 is the least effective at detecting low- altitude aircraft flying directly towards the operator. When the exhaust plume is hidden by the aircraft body, it cannot be detected as long as it isoutside the zone 8-10 kilometers from the operator. The detection range is increased when the aircraft changes direction to show its own exhaust. The AN/PAS-18 is ready for use within 10 seconds of power up. It is powered by a lithium battery which provides 6-12 hours of battery life. The AN/PAS-18 is an auxiliary night vision device and does not have the resolution required to identify aircraft.

MANPADS usa stinger

Combat use

In preparation for use, a trigger mechanism is attached to the launch container with the help of special locks, into which the power supply is pre-installed. It is connected to the battery via a cable with a plug connector. In addition, a cylinder with liquid inert gas is connected to the rocket's onboard network through a fitting. Another useful device is the Friend or Foe (IFF) Target Identification Unit. The antenna of this system, which has a very distinctive "grid" appearance, is also attached to the launcher.

How many people does it take to launch a missile from a Stinger MANPADS? Its characteristics allow it to be done by one operator, although officially two people are required to operate it. In this case, the second number monitors the airspace. When the target is detected, the operator-shooter puts the complex on his shoulder and aims it at the target. When it is captured by the infrared searcher of the missile, a sound and vibration signal is given, after which the operator, by pressing the special button, mustunlock the gyro-stabilized platform, which maintains a constant position relative to the ground in flight, providing control of the instantaneous position of the rocket. This is followed by pressing the trigger, after which the liquid inert gas for cooling the infrared homing seeker is supplied from the cylinder to the rocket, its on-board battery is put into operation, the tear-off power plug is discarded, and the squib for launching the launch booster is turned on.

How far does the Stinger shoot?

The firing range of the Stinger MANPADS in altitude is 3500 m. The missile searches for infrared light (heat) produced by the engine of the target aircraft and tracks the aircraft by following this source of infrared radiation. Missiles also detect a target's ultraviolet "shadow" and use it to distinguish the target from other heat-producing objects.

The range of the Stinger MANPADS in pursuit of the target has a wide range for its different versions. So, for the basic version, the maximum range is 4750 m, and for the FIM-92E version, it reaches up to 8 km.


Weight of MANPADS in "combat" position, kg 15, 7
Rocket launch weight, kg 10, 1
Rocket length, mm 1500
Rocket body diameter, mm 70
Span of nose stabilizers, mm 91
Warhead weight 2, 3
Flight speed, m/s 650-750

Russian MANPADS "Igla"

It is of known interest to compare the characteristics of the Stinger and Igla-S MANPADS, adopted by the Russian army in 2001. The photo below shows the moment of firing from the Igla-S MANPADS.

MANPADS stinger and needle

Both complexes have similar missile weights: the Stinger has 10.1 kg, the Igla-S has 11.7, although the Russian missile is 135 mm longer. But the body diameter of both missiles is very close: 70 and 72 mm, respectively. Both of them are capable of hitting targets at altitudes up to 3500 m with infrared homing warheads of approximately the same weight.

And how similar are the other characteristics of the Stinger and Igla MANPADS? Comparison of them demonstrates an approximate parity of capabilities, which once again proves that the level of Soviet defense developments can well be raised in Russia to the best foreign models of weapons.

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