Stinger man-portable air defense missiles are extremely dangerous weapons manufactured by the United States, they can be fired from many different launch platforms to destroy enemy targets.
The Stinger man-portable air defense missile system has proven its combat performance in almost all major conflicts around the world.
This Missile System was designed by General Dynamics and manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems from the late 1970s to today. The full name of this deadly weapon system is FIM-92 Stinger.
The FIM-90 Stinger has a length of 1.52 metre, a diameter of 70mm, and a total weight of 15.2kg.
The firing range of the FIM-92 Stinger missile is from 1,000 meters to 8,000 metres, with a operating crew of two soldiers.
The Missile System is very easy to use and carry in the battlefield conditions. Plus, the FIM-92 Stinger recent versions has improved performance against small aerial targets, such as drones.
The Stinger man-portable air defense missile system is produced in many different types of varients. Some main varients are: FIM-92A, this is the basic version; FIM-92B, passive optical seeker equipped version; FIM-92C, microprocessor reprogrammable version; FIM-92D; version with anti-interference; FIM-92E, very high performance version, is designed to intercept and destroy small targets.
In addition, there are many other versions of the FIM-92 Stinger, thanks to the continuous upgrades and improvements in the Stinger missile system which helps the man-portable air defense missile system to eliminate high-tech targets.
The version FIM-92J is a modern modified version of the old versions to replace old components to extend the missile life by 10 years.
The warhead of this version is also equipped with a close fuse to increase effectiveness against unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
In addition, the United States has also developed a new version of the Stinger man-portable air defense missile system, this new version is equipped with passive radar detectors to counter radar transmitters.
Immediately after launching, the gunner can quickly hide and the missile will destroy the incoming threat, thereby increasing missile effectiveness and maximizing survivability.
The FIM-92 Stinger missile is ignited by a small launcher engine that propels it to a safe distance from the gunner before igniting a two-stage solid-fuel engine, giving the missile a speed of Mach 2.2.
The warhead of the FIM-92 Stinger Missile is of 3kg, it contains 1.02kg of HTA-3 (a mixture of HMX, TNT and aluminum powder), encased in a pyrophoric titanium cylinder.
The Missile warhead can either be detonated by directly making contact with the potential target, or by a self-destruction mechanism, self-destruction occurs after 15 to 19 seconds after launch.
The FIM-92 Stinger uses a passive seeker, which is a “fire-and-forget” weapon that does not require the operator’s guidence after firing the missile.
To fire the missile, a BCU (Battery Coolant Unit) is inserted into the gripstock. This device consists of a supply of high-pressure gaseous argon which is injected into the seeker to cryogenically cool it to operating temperature, and a thermal battery which provides power for target acquisition: a single BCU provides power and coolant for roughly 45 seconds, after which another must be inserted if the missile has not been fired.
The BCUs are somewhat sensitive to abuse, and have a limited shelf life due to argon leakage. The IFF system receives power from a rechargeable battery which is part of the IFF interrogator box which plugs into the base of the gripstock’s pistol grip. Guidance to the target is initially through proportional navigation, then switches to another mode that directs the missile towards the target airframe instead of its exhaust plume.
Since 1984 the Stinger has been issued to many U.S. Navy warships for point defense, particularly in Middle Eastern waters, with a three-man team that can perform other duties when not conducting Stinger training or maintenance. Until it was decommissioned in September 1993, the U.S. Navy had at least one Stinger Gunnery Detachment attached to Beachmaster Unit Two in Little Creek Virginia. The sailors of this detachment would deploy to carrier battlegroups in teams of two to four sailors per ship as requested by Battle Group Commanders.
The FIM-92 Stinger is now being re-manufactured by the United States, to replenish its strategic stockpile after the country has delivered thousands of missiles to Ukraine.
The Stinger Missile has destroyed several russian aircrafts and helicopters in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.
Most recently, the Ukrainian Forces has claimed that they have successfully shot down a Russian Air Force Sukhoi SU-30SM, at the Kharkiv front on September 24, 2022.