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Man Portable Surface to Air MissilesThe man on the ground has always had a particular dislike of ground attack aircraft and until the mid 1960s the basic infantry man was nearly defenceless, leaving them to sit out an attack and wait for air cover or mechanised anti aircraft guns which have always been in short supply. By the mid 1960s the first man portable Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) were coming into service. These were and in many respects still are, simple missiles fired from a shoulder held tube. The key breakthrough was the development of Infra red (IR) seeker heads which were robust enough for infantry use, these allowed the missile to lock onto the hot exhaust from the target and follow until the missile hit. At first the main use of these weapons was to deflect air attacks which could have been made with greater accuracy as they were far from lethal, (during the 1973 war in the Middle East 5,000 SA-7 missiles were used but brought down only 2 Israeli aircraft with 4 more possible hits). In Vietnam the use of these missiles forced the US to abandon low level attacks for medium and high level attacks which were less accurate. Over time these missile have slowly improved but are still far from accurate as British experience in the Falklands war illustrates. Using American Stinger missiles they tended to lock onto the largest heat source which including a warships funnel, and an Argentine Field Kitchen rather than the aircraft targeted. Some countries have experimented with mounting these weapons on helicopters to give them some defence vs. aircraft but with little success. Although effective vs. slower helicopters (with a 33% kill rate in Vietnam until countermeasures were adopted) with the development of accurate mid level bombing using laser guided bombs and stealth technology the utility of these weapons is decreasing. One worrying aspect is the potential use by terrorists against a civilian airliner, although this has been tried before in Greece with little success it is a dangerous possibility considering the portability of the weapon and the ease of use.
Type 91 surface-to-air missile
The Type 91 surface-to-air missile ( 91式携帯地対空誘導弾 , 91-shiki Keitai Chitaikū Yūdōdan) is a Japanese man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS). Its appearance is similar to the US-made FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missile.   It was created in order to replace its stock of American-made Stinger MANPADS, since the Type 91 has a better guidance system, which consist of both visible light and infrared system options.  The Stinger, on the other hand, uses a passive infrared homing guidance system. 
In the ranks of the JSDF, the Type 91 is colloquially known as Hand Arrow.  The Type 91 is sometimes mistaken as a Japanese-made version of the Stinger.  The Type 91 is currently exclusively used by the JSDF and has not been exported overseas to date due to previous interpretations of post-war constitutional restrictions and the laws arising from them.
The Type 91 is officially treated as a 4th-generation MANPAD system. 
Man Portable Surface to Air Missiles - History
Man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) are surface-to-air missiles that can be fired by an individual or a small team of people against aircraft. These weapon systems often are described as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. The United States and the Soviet Union first deployed MANPADS—the Redeye and Strela systems respectively—in the 1960s to provide their infantries with portable anti-aircraft weapons. Since their introduction, more than 20 states have manufactured an estimated one million MANPADS for national stockpiles or export. At least 102 countries have or have had MANPADS in their arsenals. The US government estimates that approximately 500,000-750,000 MANPADS remain in stockpiles around the world, though it is difficult to estimate the number of operable systems.
Three general types of MANPADS exist: command line of sight, laser guided, and infra-red seekers. Command line-of-sight MANPADS are guided to their targets through the use of a remote control. Laser-guided or laser beam rider MANPADS follow a laser projected onto the target. The most common MANPADS, however, are infrared seekers that acquire their target by detecting the heat of an aircraft’s engine. They are considered the easiest to operate and include the Soviet-era Strela and Igla weapons, as well as the U.S. Stinger. Today average MANPADS can reach a target from a distance of 3 miles, which means commercial aircraft are most vulnerable during periods of takeoff and landing.
Although MANPADS production was originally limited to a few states, including the U.S., U.K., Russia and China, today over 30 countries manufacture MANPADS. Major MANPADS producing states today include China, France, Russia, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. The most commonly produced MANPADS are the Soviet SA-7 and the U.S. Stinger.
Although the vast majority of MANPADS are in national stockpiles, terrorists and other non-state actors have acquired the anti-aircraft missiles through deliberate transfers, the black market, or theft. All told, the Department of State estimates that as many as several thousand MANPADS exist outside state control, including in the hands of al Qaeda. Exacerbating the proliferation concern is the very long shelf-life of MANPADS, which can remain functional for up to twenty years.
The U.S. supply of Stingers to anti-Soviet Afghan fighters during the 1980s illustrates how MANPADS spread. Between 1986 and 1989, Afghan forces used the missiles to down an estimated 269 aircraft and helicopters. Many Stingers, however, remained unaccounted for after the conflict despite U.S. efforts to have unused missiles returned to U.S. control. Some of the missiles made it into the international black market and the hands of terrorists. Estimates of black market prices for MANPADS range from just a few hundred dollars for basic technology models to thousands for more advanced units.
The problem is not confined to U.S.-origin missiles. The Soviet Union supplied its allies with MANPADS and apparently some were re-transferred to non-state actors or stolen. Libya reportedly shipped Soviet-supplied MANPADS to at least the Irish Republican Army and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Numerous reports claim significant MANPADS looting from insecure military stores of the
after its 1991 collapse. Similarly, after U.S.-led military forces in 2003 toppled Saddam Hussein and his regime from power, as many as 4,000 MANPADS went missing from Iraqi military holdings.
MANPADs were discovered in use in recent conflicts in Libya, the Gaza Strip, and Syria. Iran has been accused of smuggling weapons, including MANPADS, into other countries in the region to armed insurgents. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented to the Wall Street Journal, “There is no question when you start passing MANPADS around, that becomes a threat, not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft. That is an escalation.”
After the Libyan civil war, many feared that weapons from the Gaddafi regime may have been smuggled out of the country during the conflict to other countries in the region and into the hands of armed groups or terrorist units, like al Qaeda in the Magrheb, Hamas in Gaza, Boko Haram in Niger, or Syrian insurgents. At the end of the war 5,000 MANPADS left from the Gaddafi regime were located and destroyed by a multinational team, though some reports suggest that the regime was in possession of over 20,000, most of which remain unaccounted for.
During the November 2012 skirmish between Israel and the Gaza Strip Hamas released a video displaying its possession of MANPADS. A cable by Israeli Defense Intelligence also claimed Hamas possessed SA-7 MANPADS. These were likely smuggled into Gaza from
after the end of the civil war. It also suspected the smuggled Libyan MANPADS were transported into
and used by insurgents in that country.
In the Syrian civil war, video and photographic evidence proved rebel opposition forces possessed SA-16 and SA-7 MANPADs for targeting the aircraft of al-Assad’s government forces. Rebels acquired at least 40 MANPADS through captured government military stockpiles and international smuggling, including from
, in their efforts to drive out the regime.
The Threat to Civil Aviation
The first successful MANPADS attack against a civilian aircraft occurred Sept. 3, 1978, when rebels of the Zimbabwe Peoples Revolution Army shot down Air Rhodesia Flight 825. The MANPADS attack with arguably the most severe consequences was the 1994 downing of a plane carrying the leaders ofRwanda and Burundi. That attack helped precipitate a war that killed more than 800,000 Rwandans conflict in the region continues. More recently, in 2002, al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Mombassa, Kenya, fired two MANPADS at an Arkia Israel Airlines plane. Both missiles missed, but the act marked the first attack on a civilian airliner outside a conflict zone.
More than 50 MANPADS attacks against civilian aircraft have occurred, mostly in Africa and
. Aircraft are most vulnerable after take-off, during the initial climbing period, and while gaining altitude when the planes are at slow speeds and in regular flight patterns. Some thirty attacks have been fatal and have resulted in almost 1,000 civilian deaths. Most attacks against civilian plans occurred within active war zones. Since 1998, an estimated 47 non-state groups are thought to be in control of MANPADS systems. While there has never been a MANPADS attack on a U.S. civilian plane, the estimated consequences of terrorists shooting down a
airliner are severe. A 2005 RAND Corporation study projected that the direct costs of such an attack would approach $1 billion. The indirect economic costs, according to the study, would soar much higher. For example, if all U.S. airports stopped operating for one week after the attack, losses could climb past $3 billion. Depressed demand to fly in the following months could result in losses totaling up to $12 billion. In sum, RAND concluded that one anti-aircraft missile purchased for as little as a few thousand dollars on the black market could kill hundreds of people and cause economic damage exceeding $16 billion. The costs could be even higher if consumers shunned flying or airports remained closed for a long period.
Efforts to Reduce the MANPADS Threat
The U.S. government is pursuing three main strategies to prevent MANPADS proliferation and protect civilian aircraft: stiffening global export controls and transparency, funding MANPADS stockpile security and destruction worldwide, and researching defensive countermeasures.
Although the United States had been promoting new MANPADS security and export controls since 1998, the 2002 Mombassa attack galvanized U.S. efforts. In 2003, governments added MANPADS exports and imports to the list of weapons transactions that should be volunteered annually by states to the UN Register of Conventional Arms. That same year, the voluntary Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), a group of arms suppliers that seeks to coordinate their export controls, agreed to strengthen export procedures governing MANPADS transfers and urged governments to equip newly-manufactured systems with safety devices to prevent unauthorized use. Today the WA includes 41 participating states. Other international institutions, such as the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, have also focused more attention on strengthening MANPADS controls and stockpile security. A number of OCSE country plans have included destruction of MANPADS stockpiles as a priority.
Some countries exercise poor accounting and security of their MANPADS, making them vulnerable to theft. Aiming to mitigate this problem, the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement and the Department of Defense’s Threat Reduction Agency operate programs to help foreign governments destroy excess weapons and improve protection of their missile stockpiles. The State Department claims these programs have destroyed approximately 32,500 MANPADS in over 30 countries since 2003, amounting to about 5-10% of the total world inventory.
Notable uses [ edit | edit source ]
Against military aircraft [ edit | edit source ]
Against civilian aircraft [ edit | edit source ]
- The 1978 Air Rhodesia Viscount Shootdown is the first example of a civilian airliner shot down by a man-portable surface-to-air missile. The pilot of the aircraft managed to make a controlled crash landing. was also shot down in February 1979 by the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army armed with a Strela 2 missile. All 59 passengers and crew were killed. involved two separate aircraft shot down a day apart in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia, killing 108 people. ⎠]
- On 6 April 1994, a surface-to-air missile struck one of the wings of the Dassault Falcon 50 carrying three French crew and nine passengers, including Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira, as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda, before a second missile hit its tail. The plane erupted into flames in mid-air before crashing into the garden of the presidential palace, exploding on impact. This incident was the ignition spark of the Rwandan Genocide. : On 7 October 1998, the Tamil Tigers shot down an aircraft off the coast of Sri Lanka. : On 28 November 2002, two shoulder-launchedStrela 2 (SA-7) surface-to-air missiles were fired at a chartered Boeing 757 airliner as it took off from Moi International Airport. The missiles missed the aircraft which continued safely to Tel Aviv, carrying 271 vacationers from Mombasa back to Israel. In the photos, the missile systems were painted in light blue, the color used in the Soviet military for training material (a training SA-7 round would not have the guidance system). : On 22 November 2003, an Airbus A300B4-203F cargo plane, operating on behalf of DHL was hit by an SA-14 missile, which resulted in the loss of its hydraulic systems. The crew later landed the crippled aircraft safely by using only differential engine thrust by adjusting the individual throttle controls of each engine. : On 23 March 2007, a TransAVIAexport AirlinesIlyushinIl-76 airplane crashed in outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, during the 2007 Battle of Mogadishu. Witnesses claim that a surface-to-air missile was fired immediately prior to the accident. However, Somali officials deny that the aircraft was shot down.
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Surface-to-air missile (SAM), radar or infrared guided missile fired from a ground position to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft or missiles. Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) were developed to protect ground positions from hostile air attacks, specifically high-altitude bombers flying beyond the range of conventional antiaircraft artillery.
During the 1950s and 1960s, batteries of Nike SAMs provided strategic air defense against Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and long-range bombers. Following agreements between the Soviet Union and the United States to limit and reduce the number of strategic nuclear devices and the subsequent dismantlement of the Soviet Union into independent republics, research focused on the development of short-range, lighter, and more-portable SAMs to protect ground troops. An important development among handheld SAMs is integrated fire-control systems for ground units, which can distinguish friendly from hostile aircraft.
General Dynamics / Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger
Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 12/21/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The FIM-92 Stinger is a portable, lightweight anti-aircraft defense system currently in service with the United States military and other foreign forces. It has proven successful across several different types of platforms (land, sea and air) and against varying types of airborne threats. The Stinger has seen combat actions from the Falklands War to Afghanistan and the Angolan Civil War to the Yugoslav Wars. The missile and its launcher have proven successful enough that several foreign firms allied to the United States have taken on license production of the weapon. To date, some 70,000 missile systems are known to have entered circulation.
The FIM-92 Stinger was developed as a replacement to the FIM-43 Redeye. The Redeye was an infrared homing man-portable surface-to-air missile system with its own origins dating back to a 1948 US Army need. The Redeye appeared at a time when the idea of ground-based guns and cannons to help protect against enemy aircraft was proving ineffective as most new aircraft being developed were in the realm of high-speed jets. The Redeye was developed to fill this need and entered service in 1968. Production ran from 1982 to 1969 with some 85,000 total systems in circulation. Under the designation of "Redeye II", an improved "all-aspect" form soon appeared and ultimately took on the designation of "Stinger". With the introduction of the Stinger in 1981, the Redeye was gradually removed from service from 1982 to 1995.
After securing the Advanced Sensor Development Program contract in July of 1965, General Dynamics began advanced development work on the new Redeye replacement - known simply as the "Redeye II" - in 1967. A July 1st 1968 review of currently available air defense systems for the US Army was unveiled through the Technical Review of Army Air Defense Systems Study, showcasing a dire need for upgraded improvement in this area. Priority was then assigned to getting the Redeye II online as quickly as possible with an initiative started in late January of 1969. The US Army evaluated the program and selected the Redeye II for further development as the official successor to the existing Redeye. Tests were then conducted against six other similar weapon systems with the Redeye II coming out ahead. On October 8th, 1971, the designation of "XFIM-92A" was assigned to the Redeye II with the official name of "Stinger" following in 1972. System testing began in March of 1973 and unveiled several technical problems in the design to which further evaluation was stopped throughout most of 1974. After a six-month delay, the project saw its first missile fired in February of 1975. The test successfully scored a direct hit against a test vehicle at distance. A further test on March of that year proved the guidance system sound as the missile engaged an aerial jet-powered target moving at 4g. A July test proved the Stinger capable of bypassing target countermeasures as the missile was able to successfully engage a drone. The FIM-92 was then cleared for standard DoD use in November of 1977 and a production contract to General Dynamics was awarded on April 20th, 1978. The first batch of Stingers were set for production in 1978 under the official designation of FIM-92A.
The Stinger was subsequently developed into more lethal forms. An improved type became the FIM-92B beginning production in 1983. In 1984, the upgradable FIM-92C was unveiled with production beginning in 1987. An even more improved form came along in the FIM-92D production model which was designed to further combat the countermeasure capabilities of target aircraft. The FIM-92E came online in 1992 with production beginning in 1995 and featured an upgraded software suite and sensor, making it a more potent system against low-altitude aircraft of smaller profile. The FIM-92F of 2001 saw another upgrade to the software suite. The FIM-92G became upgrades to existing FIM-92D production models.
The Stinger was developed into three distinct, yet similar, forms in the "Basic Stinger", the "Stinger -Passive Optical Seeker Technique (POST)" and the "Stinger-Reprogrammable Microprocessor (RMP)". The Basic Stinger utilized a discrete component signal processing with an Infrared (IR) reticle scan analog system. Stinger-POST had an Infrared/Ultraviolet dual detector with rosette pattern image scanning as well as digital microprocessor-based signal processing. The Stinger-RMP featured a more powerful microprocessor and better countermeasures recognition. Export offerings became the less reprogrammable Stinger-RMP version.
While the FIM-92 relies on an infrared homing guidance system like the Redeye before it, it provides for better tracking and engagement of targets that try to foil the Stinger through countermeasures. The initial launch is accomplished via an ejection motor that clears the missile away from the operators position before the solid-fuel rocket motor kicks into gear. Immediately after launch, the Stinger is set on course via proportional navigation while, later in its flight path, the missile enacts a guidance mode that delivers the missile towards the target mass - this as opposed to engaging the target's heat exhaust signature. The near-five foot missile can reach speeds of up to Mach 2.2 and utilizes an impact fuse with a 3 kilogram warhead to cause lethal damage to its intended target. In essence, the AIM-92 Stinger is a supersonic, "fire-and-forget" missile with all-aspect engagement properties. The all-aspect property allows the Stinger operator to engage aerial threats even when facing them head-on - a quality the Redeye lacked. The system as a whole is made to offer up a quick-reaction/quick-firing solution against incoming aerial threats. An IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) transceiver can be worn by the operator as a belt pack.
Operation of the launcher centers around the use of a Battery Coolant Unit (BCU) needed to fire the missile. The battery system powers up the missile and target acquisition systems. As such, misuse or neglect of the battery over time can lead to an inoperable Stinger launcher within four or five years and, therefore, render it useless. Reportedly, the Stinger launcher generally requires little-to-no maintenance beyond the attention to the BCU.
The AIM-92 missile itself has an outward targeting range of up to 15,700 feet and can engage low altitude enemy threats at up to 12,500 feet. This makes it particularly lethal to low-altitude attack aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" and Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II as well as helicopters of any type - be they attack or transport in nature. The missile sports four spring-loaded fins near the warhead and another four stabilization fins near the exhaust port. The missile has proven effective in day/night operations as well as through adverse weather conditions.
Officially, the Stinger and its kind are categorized as MANPADS - "Man-Portable, Air-Defense System" and are generally nothing more than SAMs (Surface-to-Air Missiles) of smaller stature and range.
While commonly associated with its use as a hand-held, shoulder-launched unit, the Stinger system has been adapted in both mobile ground-based air defense systems and airborne-based platforms. In the former arrangement, the Stinger has been fitted to a specialized launcher which itself is mounted on a flatbed HMMWV utility vehicle taking on the designation of M1097 "Avenger". The Avenger has made it into the ranks of both the United States Army and United States Marine Corps and has also been cleared for airdrop via transport aircraft. A modified form of the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, known as the "M6 Linebacker", also makes use of the Stinger in a four-tube launcher. This Bradley variant has its standard TOW anti-tank missile launcher replaced with a Stinger-capable one.
Attack helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache can make use of the Stinger in the air-to-air role via wing-tip launcher mounts (the Stinger was also to have been an optional armament of the ill-fated RAH-66 Comanche). When in the air-to-air role, these Stingers are generally referred to as "ATAS" to denote their role as "Air-to-Air Stingers". Interestingly, the MQ-1 Predator UAV is also cleared to use the Stinger - perhaps a glimpse into the future of unmanned air-to-air combat. Additional service has placed the Stinger missile system and its applicable launcher aboard many navy surface vessels as "point-defense weapons" to help combat incoming aerial threats.
It should be noted that the Stinger can engage multiple types of airborne threats including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), incoming cruise missiles, rotary aircraft (helicopters) and fixed-wing aircraft.
Design of the Stinger launcher is essentially the firing tube containing the AIM-92 missile. There is a slab-type, flip-out optics system along the left side of the forward body. The trigger group is also held forward of the body center. There is a large fixture just ahead of the pistol grip that is used to hold the weapon in place with the non-trigger hand. While a crew of two typically man and fire a Stinger system, the weapon can be operated by a sole individual if need be. There is an identifiable "cage" type arrangement set off to the right side of the forward body. The system as a whole is reportedly a manageable 35 pounds in weight - making it a popular point-defense weapon for any army. The Stinger features reusable components (such as the hand grip) after a launch to help reduce individual unit cost.
The Stinger in Action
The Stinger was first used in an operational manner during the Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina. The Argentine dictatorship saw it fit to invade the small island chain and claim it as their own. In response, the British were thrown into action and a task force was sent into the region to reclaim the territory. Its group of special forces operatives - the Special Air Service (or "SAS") - was brought along with a few examples of the American-made Stinger (perhaps as few as six missile systems). Its first victim became an Argentine IA 58 Pucara, a twin-seat, twin-engine, low-altitude multi-role aircraft downed on May 21st, 1982. Its second victim became a French-made Aerospatiale SA330 Puma helicopter on May 30th.
Perhaps the Stingers best publicized role was in the hands of the Mujahideen in its war against the Soviet Union beginning in 1979. As any resistance to the Soviet Empire was on the agenda of the United States, America saw fit to arm the Mujahideen with the surface-to-air missile system in an attempt to make life increasingly difficult for Soviet airmen. Several hundred (perhaps even thousands) of Stingers are believed to have been delivered to the group. Once in Mujahideen hands, the Stinger proved its worth and excelled alongside the guerilla tactics being employed against a more calculating foe. Soviet airmen were put at increasing risk when operating at low-levels and the arrival (and effectiveness) of the Stinger forced a change in tactics on the part of the Russians. By all accounts, the Stinger had such an impact on the war in Afghanistan that it was partly the reason for an impending Soviet defeat - and ultimate withdrawal - by the end of 1989. A cash program to later reclaim the missiles from the Mujahideen by the US proved incomplete. Luckily, Stinger battery components were made more-or-less inoperable within five years. Perhaps most damaging from this Cold War exercise was the missile system falling into the hands of foreign threats for reverse engineering purposes - such was the case in Iran and North Korea.
In all it use, the Stinger has been credited with the downing and destruction of some 270 aircraft. The ease of use, accuracy and relatively low acquisition costs have made it a favorite the world over.
Beyond the United States of America and the United Kingdom, the Stinger has been fielded by Afghanistan (both the national army and the Mujahideen), Angola, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Chad, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Taiwan, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. The Stinger was produced under license in Germany by EADS and in Turkey by Roketsan. Switzerland has also produced the Stinger locally under license. Japan is a former operator (now committed to the Type 91 system) and Sweden use never materialized past the evaluation phase. Japan purchased its Stingers in 1982, noted as the first foreign nation to do so.
Germany took part in later development of the Stinger system through joint German-American acquisition and targeting tests held from May to June in 1976. The first approved foreign sales for evaluation of the system to the nation occurred in 1980 to the tune of $1.8 million US dollars. 1981 saw a NATO conglomerate, seven nation-strong "Stinger Project Group" formed to test the validity of the Stinger for use throughout Europe. The group included Germany, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Greece, Turkey and Italy. Germany cleared the Stinger for use on navy ships in 1982.
June 2019 - Taiwan has requested the purchase of 250 Stinger anti-aircraft weapon systems from the United States to help bolster its airspace denial capabilities from the ground.
How to Protect Airliners from Missiles
An Afghan guerrilla handling a CIA-supplied Stinger missile in the late '80s during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Not exactly a bargain, but U.S. defense officials believe such systems will have to become standard equipment aboard U.S. airliners. They say the terrorists' failure to down the Israeli charter plane last week may have simply been a product of poor training or a mechanical glitch.
The new Air Force system designed to defeat SAMs is an updated version of the AN/AAQ-24 (V) Nemesis, which protects both big transports (apparently including Air Force One) and military helicopters. Built by the Northrop Grumman Corp., it is known as the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures LAIRCM system, and will eventually be carried in all 943 cargo planes and tankers operated by the U.S. Air Force. Under current plans, the first C-17 will be outfitted with the system in 2004. Civilians may have to wait a little longer.
LAIRCM automatically detects, tracks and jams infrared missiles, sending a high-intensity laser beam into the missile's seeker, disrupting its guidance system. No action is required by the crew. The pilot simply is informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed. "Inexpensive, yet lethal, surface-to-air missiles have proliferated around the globe and unfortunately are in the hands of our potential adversaries," says Arnold Welch, vice president for Infrared Countermeasures Programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. "It is essential that our military pilots and air crews have this sophisticated type of protection in order to perform their missions and return safely."
As governments bolster their defenses against terror, the terrorists will go after ever-softer targets. When you cannot fight your foe on the battlefield, you will hit his embassies. If they are hidden behind concrete walls, you will hit his banks. If they are protected by bullet-proof glass and armored plating, you will hit his schools, his hospitals, his resort hotels, his commercial airliners. And If the terrorists cannot board a U.S. airliner with box-cutters, they may be able to target it with surface-to-air missiles.
The threat of SAM attacks on U.S. airliners was acknowledged in an FAA study in 1993, which noted that as passenger and baggage screening became more rigorous, the chances of missile strikes would rise. The U.S. government's interest in the problem followed its decision to supply Afghan mujahedeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan whose ranks included Osama bin Laden and many of his al-Qaeda lieutenants with about 1,000 Stinger missiles in the 1980s. Pentagon officials credit the Stinger with downing about 250 Soviet aircraft.
U.S. officials estimate that the roughly 400 Stingers unaccounted for in Afghanistan are nearing the end of their useful life, if they haven't already passed it. While defense officials suggest the missile system's battery is good for only about five years, many remain potent after 10 years. Both the basic Stinger supplied to the Afghan rebels and the Soviet-designed SA-7s are fairly crude weapons. But the CIA has launched several efforts since they were delivered in 1986-87 to get them back, offering up to $100,000 per missile, and sometimes paying more, U.S. officials say. A Stinger is five feet long, 2.75 inches in diameter, weighs 35 pounds, and is "relatively easy" to operate, U.S. officials say. It homes in on the heat put out by a jet's engine, and can hit a plane at 10,000 feet from five miles away. That means the shooter can be located miles away from the airport where the plane being targeted is taking off or landing. There is concern among U.S. officials that al-Qaeda or other terrorists may have gotten their hands on better Soviet-designed shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles including the SA-14, SA-16 and SA-18.
Alan Kuperman, author of a detailed history of the Stingers' use in Afghanistan published in 1999 in Political Science Quarterly, suggests some of the Afghan Stingers ended up on the black market and could have fallen into the hands of a variety of groups, including Kashmiri rebels, Indian Sikhs, and Palestinian militants.
Iran's defense minister launched the domestic mass production of the Misagh-2 on February 5, 2006, which is manufactured at the Shahid Shah Abhady Industrial Complex 
When fired, the Misagh-2 destroys its target within 5 second and has an operation temperature of -40°C to +60°C. The missile speed reaches 2.7+ Mach when it approaches its target.   
- ^ ab"آشنایی با موشک دوشپرتاب میثاق". www.hamshahrionline.ir . Retrieved 2017-09-29 .
- ^ Iranian Military Capability 2011: 3. SHORAD – Short Range Air Defense. (January 2011)
- "دوشپرتاب "میثاق" رقیب قدرتمند استینگر و RBS/ انهدام اهداف متحرک در ۸ ثانیه". خبرگزاری تسنیم - Tasnim (in Persian) . Retrieved 2017-09-29 .
- FarhangNews.ir (2013-12-19). "نگرانی از توان موشکهای دوشپرتاب ایرانی+ تصاویر" (in Persian) . Retrieved 2017-09-29 .
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Man Portable Surface to Air Missiles - History
The proliferation of the second generation man portable Surface-Air-Missile must rank as one of the most important military developments of the decade. These insidious little weapons have rendered battlefield airspace unusable by any aircraft other than high performance tactical jets, while effectively countering the principal weapon of counterinsurgency forces, the helicopter gunship.
The massed deployment of the FIM-92A Stinger in Afghanistan tipped the scales in favour of the Mujahedeen insurgents who shot down large and medium transports, helicopters and significantly, tactical aircraft. This forced the Soviets to change their weapon delivery profiles much to the detriment of bombing accuracy.This in turn rendered Soviet air superiority meaningless, as the low density point targets typical of such warfare cannot be accurately hit from altitude with dumb weapons. The Soviets lost their greatest tactical advantage in the campaign and the result is evident in this year's reluctant withdrawal. It is hardly therefore necessary to elaborate upon the potential of the modern man portable SAM in the hands of a competent terrorist cleverly positioned within a couple of miles of a major airport. The sheer military incompetence of many Third World governments makes the use of supposedly independent terrorist organisations a very attractive option.
The man portable SAM has forced major changes in thinking by those confronted with it, those yet to be confronted still allow themselves the luxury of flying helos and tactical transports without exhaust infrared(IR) suppressors, IR jammers and chaff/flare dispensers the latter tied into IR warning systems and Radar Warning Receivers(RWR).
Second and first generation man portable SAMs use much like point defence SAMs heatseeking, command link or beamriding guidance therefore each class of weapon will have unique strengths and weaknesses. This will become very apparent upon closer examination.
Beam Riders - Bofors RBS-70
Beam riding guidance is one of the conceptually simplest techniques available. A beam riding missile will be equipped with a set of aft facing antennas (or optical detectors) usually mounted on the tips of its cruciform wings. These antennas(detectors) will sense the missile's orientation within a microwave (laser) beam which will track the target. The missile will continuously adjust its flightpath to maintain its position within the beam (ie 'ride' the beam) until it collides with the tracked target. So much for the basic idea. In practice beam riding is a somewhat more complex affair. The flight of a beamrider will be divided into two phases, gathering and guided flight. The gathering phase takes place immediately after launch when the missile's position relative to the beam centreline is is uncertain, this results from various tolerances in the hardware, variations in propellant performance, wind velocity and jitter/pointing errors in the launcher. Gathering involves the use of a radio or optical command link to steer the missile into the centre of the tracking beam, the position of the missile is usually sensed by an infrared device which tracks the missile exhaust plume. Once the missile has been gathered into the beam the beam riding guidance may be engaged and the missile can then corkscrew its way up the beam until collision with the target. The strength of the beamrider lies in simplicity, complete or nearly so immunity to jamming and seduction and the ability to kill targets from all aspects, particularly head-on. A generic weakness of beamriders is a poor kill rate against crossing targets (ie beam aspect)which results from the very high sustained turn rates required of the missile in order to stay within the rapidly slewing beam. Under such circumstances the missile's control surfaces may stall resulting in loss of control and destruction of the weapon. Operator skill level is very important (this requirement itself may be considered a weakness), a clever operator can apply some lead bias in tracking the target during the missile's flight thus preempting the above. The most widely deployed beamrider today is the Swedish laser beam riding AB Bofors RBS-70. This weapon first flew in 1971 entering production by the mid seventies. The weapon fire unit is comprised of an integral missile container/launch tube, a sighting/guidance unit, both attached to a tripod stand/operator seat. The sighting/guidance unit provides a gyro stabilised optical sight with target fine tracking by thumb lever, the optics are boresighted with the laser. Target tracking is achieved by keeping crosshairs on target thus directing the laser beam at it. The missiles are fielded in the sealed container/launch tubes which are discarded after use. The high explosive warhead is proximity and impact fused.
Command to Line Of Sight Guidance - Shorts Blowpipe and Javelin
An alternative form of guidance with many similar characteristics is command link guidance a specific type of which is Command to Line Of Sight (CLOS) guidance. Commonly used in land based and naval point defence SAMs, command link guidance involves fitting the missile with radio (usually VHF to microwave) band receivers via which it receives steering commands from its launcher/ operator. The Blowpipe and Javelin are both optically tracked CLOS (..to target) weapons, where the operator directly (or indirectly) steers the missile into the line-of-sight (LOS) to the target and eventually collision. Like beam riders, CLOS missiles must first be gathered into the field of view of the operator and then steered to impact.
As with beamriders the strength of CLOS guided weapons lies in implicit immunity to seduction, high resistance to jamming and all aspect capability. Their weaknesses are also alike in that operator skill is a prerequisite and performance against crossing targets can be poor, although in this respect a CLOS guided weapon is unlikely to fall out of control but rather fail to sustain the required turn rate and miss the target. The most commonly used CLOS man portable SAM is the Shorts Missile Systems Division Blowpipe. This weapon was introduced over a decade ago and now equips twelve users with a number of weapons used by the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The Blowpipe missile is fielded as two assemblies, a reusable Aiming Unit and a factory sealed expendable launching canister. The missile itself is a metal tube containing a two stage solid propellant rocket, a warhead and at its tapered nose, a nose cone fitted with cruciform delta control surfaces. The nose cone is attached via a low friction bearing , the missile is steered by moving the whole nose. The missile has tail mounted cruciform wings wings which are attached to a sliding collar. Stowed in the launcher the collar and folded wings occupy together with the nose cone/controls the large forward part of the launcher. At launch a thermal battery is fired up, the launcher cap blown off by gas pressure, the missile gyro fired and the first stage engine ejects the missile from the canister, extracting and unfolding the wings during exit. The pistol grip aiming unit contains the command link radio transmitter, an optical sight, an autogathering device and optionally an IFF interrogator. Controls comprise a trigger, thumb control joystick, fuse, autogather and command frequency selection switches. An engagement involves clipping the Aiming Unit to the launcher, acquiring the target in the graticuled optical sight and squeezing the trigger. After the first stage burns out at a safe distance the second stage brings the missile up to supersonic speed. Autogathering steers the missile into the centre of the optics field of view (FOV) after which the operator steers the weapon with the joystick to impact judging missile flightpath by the exhaust flare. The Blowpipe has not been as successful as the heatseeking Stinger in Afghanistan primarily due to the need for a skilled operator who can judge the missile and target trajectories and apply appropriate lead. As the operator must account for gravity drop and crosswind drift accuracy can suffer. This can be difficult and the newer Javelin, evolved from Blowpipe, solves much of this with the use of Semi-Automatic CLOS (SACLOS) guidance. This technique involves the infra-red tracking of the missile's flightpath and the automatic transmission of steering commands which keep the missile on the LOS between the aiming reticle and the target. The Javelin Aiming Unit is more complex with additional electronics and optics. An engagement will proceed much like with Blowpipe but with the Aiming Unit projecting a stabilised illuminated aiming mark into the operator's field of view. The target is initially tracked to gain lead, the missile launched and steered to target by the operator who keeps the aiming mark on target with the joystick. In addition to Blowpipe switches and controls the Javelin is fitted with an automatic crosswind cancellation switch. Both Blowpipe and Javelin are proximity and impact fused.
Infra-Red Homing Guidance - General Dynamics FIM-92A/B/C Stinger
The Stinger family of missiles evolved from the FIM-43A Redeye, itself conceptualised by General Dynamics and US Army MICOM in the 1950s, developed in the early sixties and deployed in 1966. The Redeye was designed to shoot down hostile Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft operating against US Army land forces and was the first such weapon ever fielded. The design of such a missile was no mean feat as the state of the art in heatseeking missiles, the AIM-9 Bravo Sidewinder was a cumbersome 70 kg/2.8m weapon with an uncooled lead sulphide (PbS) detector and two channel rotating reticle seeker (see TE March 1982, Heat Seeking Missile Guidance) capable only of tail chase engagements. A new approach was required and GD pioneered several new design features to create the Redeye. Redeye was the first Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM). Unlike conventional roll stabilised missiles which are steered in two axes, pitch and yaw, by two (pitch, yaw) control channels a RAM uses a single control channel which is 'phased' to introduce pitch and yaw commands subject to the missile's instantaneous orientation (roll angle) in roll. In this fashion a single pair of control surfaces can do the work of two pairs saving weight and volume with some penalty in manoeuvre performance. GD applied further new technology to Redeye designing all of the guidance and control electronics with solid state transistor and integrated circuit technology, a first in tactical missiles. Another major weight saving measure was the use of electrical control actuators displacing bulkier conventional hydraulics. Internal wiring harnesses in the missile were replaced with lighter flexible flat printed wiring harnesses . Finally the seeker itself employed conical scanning never previously used in a heatseeking missile. The Redeye warhead was also an unconventional titanium design, built to burn through the skin of the target. The Redeye's short wavelength seeker however limited it to tail aspect shots and it was found to be susceptible to flares, which seduce a heatseeker by presenting a greater infra-red signature than a real target. This was recognised by the US Army who together with the US Marine Corps sought an all aspect Redeye II, subsequently redesignated Stinger. Development of the Stinger proceeded from 1972 to 1977 concurrently with a post-1974 Aeronutronic Ford Alternate Stinger semi active laser homing weapon which was later abandoned. The Stinger design was a much improved Redeye, 1.52m rather than 1.2m long weighing 15 kg a 16% increase in weight. The missile fuselage is divided into functional blocks. The tail of the Propulsion Section mounts a launch rocket engine with canted nozzles to impart spin (roll) during launch, it burns out and separates within the disposable wound Kevlar launch tube. The missile fuselage boat tail mounts the tail assembly with its folding canted cruciform tail surfaces, these lock after launch and sustain the fuselage roll during flight. The dual burn Atlantic Research engine high energy propellant is claimed by GD to be the state of the art in production propellants, it will accelerate the missile to cca twice the supersonic speed of Redeye. Forward of the Propulsion Section is the Warhead Section also containing the Motorola proximity fuse. The missile is designed to hit the target and inflict as much damage as possible kinetically, the 3kg Picatinny Arsenal fragmentation warhead will enhance this damage. The nose of the missile contains the Guidance Section the aft part of which contains the missile battery, controls and umbilical interfaces. One pair of unfolding cruciform canard surfaces is fixed and the other controlled by the seeker. The battery powers both electronics and controls. The Alpha model seeker uses gyro stabilised optics to focus infrared energy received through the nose window on to a gas cooled detector. The missile will fly a proportional navigation trajectory homing in on the target's exhaust plume until its terminal phase, where a Target Adaptive Guidance (TAG) algorithm steers the missile into the target's aft fuselage to damage structure and powerplant hot end. GD claim the ability to acquire, track and hit targets from all aspects. The cooled single colour seeker was a vast improvement over Redeye but didn't provide the flare rejection sought by users. In 1986 it was supplanted by the FIM-92 Bravo Stinger-POST (passive Optical Seeker technique) seeker which introduced a new rosette-scanning dual band infrared(IR) and ultraviolet(UV) detector/optics assembly. The POST seeker exploits the low UV reflectance of aircraft compared to a sky background and initially acquires and guides the missile on to the UV 'hole' in the sky represented by the target. The concurrent use of UV and IR allows unambiguous rejection of flares which are bright in both the UV and IR bands. The expectation that the threat will use IR jammers led to the 1989 phase-in of the FIM-92 Charlie Stinger-RMP (Reprogrammable MicroProcessor) version which is field reprogrammable with new guidance software if required. A memory module in the gripstock can be swapped, it would contain executable software which is downloaded to the memory of the microprocessor chip in the missile via the umbilical interface. The missile is supplied as a complete round with the launch tube sealed and pressurised with Nitrogen to keep out moisture, the seeker sees out through a fragile IR and UV transparent membrane. The gripstock contains the launcher control electronics and mounts a pistol grip with trigger and a Battery/Coolant Unit (BCU). The BCU supplies electrical power to the gripstock electronics and missile prior to launch and Argon gas coolant to cool down the detector. If a launch doesn't occur a fresh BCU is fitted. A lightweight IFF interrogator is also fitted with electronics and a battery in a belt pack. A typical engagement will involve the visual acquisition of a target by the observer in the two man fire team, using field glasses. The gunner will then clip a fresh missile to the gripstock while the observer tracks the target. A safety switch on the gripstock is then used to apply coolant and power to the missile spinning up the seeker gyro and cooling down the detector. The seeker is initially caged to the missile centreline, the gunner must track the target in his graticuled optical sight for seeker acquisition. Once the seeker has acquired the target an acquisition tone is produced and the seeker may be uncaged to track the target, this is done with a gripstock switch. To provide proper lead against a crossing target and elevation to compensate gravity drop during missile launch the gunner must track the target with one of three markers in the optical graticule, one for each aspect. Depressing the trigger then fires the missile battery which retracts the umbilical connector, this in turn fires the launch engine after which the missile exits the tube. The use of optical homing with proportional nav means that the missile will collide with an approaching target or pursue a crossing or receding target. As Stinger is a true fire and forget missile the fire team may quickly run for cover since the missile exhaust plume has betrayed their location.
The SA-7 Grail, SA-14 Gremlin and SA-16
The Russians were understandably alarmed by the discussion surrounding Redeye and sought to build an equivalent - this missile is the ubiquitous 9M32 Strela 2. Work on the 9M32 commenced in 1959 with development completed in 1965 and deployment a year later. The missile was conceptually similar to Redeye as a RAM using an uncooled PbS seeker sensitive to 2 micron band IR emissions. The missile uses a launch engine and sustainer and carries a 1.8 kg high explosive/fragmentation warhead with an impact/grazing fuse. The 9M32 suffered major performance limitations resulting from poor propellant performance and a crude IR seeker with a habit of locking on to clouds, the sun and hot pieces of countryside. It was supplanted in production from 1972 by the upgraded 9M32M Strela 2M with a 50% improvement in range to 3 n.mi. resulting from better propellant, an improved warhead and an IR filter to prevent extraneous IR radiation from upsetting the seeker. Both versions of the Grail employ an expendable fibreglass launcher and a reusable gripstock, a battery/coolant unit is mounted below the front of the tube. The limitations of the SA-7 led to its replacement in front line service by its derivative designated the SA-14 Gremlin which entered service in the early eighties. Concurrently the Russians fielded an entirely new missile the SA-16. The SA-16 is a larger 1.55m weapon with a conical (or perhaps ogival) low drag nose cone and presumably better aerodynamic performance. Both missiles are credited with true all aspect performance.
The Man Portable SAM in Combat
The man portable SAM was first fired in anger in 1971 over the Suez Canal, when an SA-7 embedded itself in the tail of an Israeli jet and failed to explode. By mid 1972 the SA-7 was being fired in South Vietnam in large numbers accounting for 45 aircraft in 500 launches by the US withdrawal. The initial kill rate of 33% soon dropped to several percent with evasive manoeuvring and the use of flares. Most kills were against helicopters and slow moving prop transports and fire support gunships. The SA-7 performed poorly in the 1973 Yom Kippur war as most of its targets were fast and agile tactical jets. The conflict where the SA-7 was seen to perform best was the final phase of the SE Asian conflict in 1975 where the SA-7s took a devastating toll of the South Vietnamese AC-47, AC-119 gunships and A-37 strike aircraft. The SA-7 attracted little further attention until the the escalation of the Rhodesian civil war where missiles fired by black nationalists downed several unfortunate civilian transports.
The Afghan conflict saw the SA-7 in use again when CIA and Arab nation supplied missiles used by Mujahedeen successfully destroyed several helicopters and transports. The Russians responded by dropping flares and fitting IR suppressors to helo exhausts countering the SA-7s simple seeker. The Afghans were subsequently supplied with Stingers and Blowpipes, the former achieving a good kill rate throughout the conflict. While many sources question the overall impact of the Stinger in this war, pointing to the furious Russian retaliatory strikes on areas known to harbour SAM fire teams, the reduction in CAS sortie rates, bombing accuracy and additional cost in operations cannot be ignored. The successful destruction of CAS aircraft and Hind gunships was shown to have a major psychological impact upon Soviet and Afghan communist aircrew, while the destruction of transports clearly disrupted internal logistical operations. The success of the man portable SAM in Hind killing in Angola was a major factor in the success of insurgent operations. It will be interesting to see the real statistics when they become available.
Defeating the man portable SAM will in most instances require a combination of manoeuvre and countermeasures. The diversity of guidance techniques and missile aerodynamic performance to be countered will rule out any simple strategy. Third world governments and associated terrorist groups where applicable may well be using US, UK, French, Chinese and Russian weapons of various vintages and revision types purchased legally or illegally. The first aspect of defence is knowing that a missile has been launched at you. Lookout is therefore essential although a beam or tail aspect shot may not be sighted. It is therefore desirable that fixed wing aircraft and helicopters carry IR detection equipment (eg Cincinnati AAR-44) which can detect and track the missiles exhaust plume, very hot with high energy propellants, providing audible and azimuth warning to the pilot. This may be the only warning available of an optical/IR missile launch. Beam riders and CLOS/SACLOS weapon guidance equipment will transmit radio or optical(ie laser) guidance signals which may be detected by a suitable Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) or Laser Warning Receiver (LWR). It is not clear from published literature whether established types such as the Dalmo Victor APR-39 RWR integrated with the Perkin Elmer AVR-2 LWR have such a capability. The dominance of optical homing missiles will eventually dictate the use of an IR warning receiver. Once the missile is detected and its plume sighted the best combination of measures is the dropping of flares to seduce a heatseeker or at least degrade its seeker performance while entering a hard break turn to attain beam aspect relative to the inbound missile (see TE July 1987 for a detailed discussion of evasive tactics). This manoeuvre will force the missile to sustain a high turn rate which may in itself defeat the weapon, it may stall its controls or fall out of control. At least this manoeuvre will slow the weapon down due to the drag induced by the body lift used to turn the missile. This is desirable as the propellant will burn out very quickly and the less energy (speed/altitude) the missile has the less likely it is to get you. As is apparent this tactic applies primarily to tactical jets with the thrust/weight and speed to make a difference to a supersonic projectile. It is thus mandatory that a CAS aircraft even when employed in counterinsurgency operations has the aerodynamic performance to sustain high G high speed manoeuvring at low altitude (the reported RAAF interest in using the PC-9 or Macchi for CAS could be questioned in this context). Helicopters and transports do not have this option and are certain kills if not equipped with IR exhaust radiation suppressors and suitable IR jammers. Exhaust suppressors mix cold air into the exhaust plume to cool it down while also preventing direct IR radiation from the turbine hot end. While flares are often carried by transports and helos second generation heat seeking SAMs are certain to reject them and jammers are a must. An IR jammer such as the Northrop AAQ-4, AAQ-8, MIRTS or Loral Matador will typically pulse an IR source at such a rate that it will interfere with the seeker/reticle scan of a heatseeking missile. The effectiveness will depend upon the knowledge of the missile to be countered, like all jammers it must be threat specific to be really effective. An aircraft or helo venturing over unsanitised territory would therefore preferably carry a suite including an IR launch warning receiver, suitable IR jammers and a flare dispenser. Penetration should be at very low level to provide terrain masking or where the situation permits well above 10,000 ft so as to stretch the threat performance envelope to the limit. Jammers and expendables should be tied into the warning receivers to provide automatic dispensing and emission upon detection of a launch. Given the possibility of manportable SAMs being deployed in the immediate vicinity of friendly landing zones or air strips it is almost mandatory that a 3 n.mi. area beyond either threshold be cleared or at least protected from intruders. On climbout at full power and low airspeed a transport is a textbook target for a heatseeker.
The second generation of man portable SAMs has yet to see large scale combat use but its immunity to trivial countermeasures and improving engagement envelope render it a major threat to helicopters, tactical transports, slower close air support/counter-insurgency aircraft and poorly flown tactical jets. The counter to such weapons lies in a combination of tactical flying, warning equipment and countermeasures none of which alone are likely to be adequate. Given the off-the-shelf availability of these weapons and thus almost non-existent warning time to deployment, those air forces and air arms which fail to suitably equip and train do so at their peril.
Javelin (surface-to-air missile)
Javelin is a British, man-portable surface-to-air missile, formerly used by the British Army and Canadian Army. It can be fired from the shoulder, or from a dedicated launcher known as Javelin LML—Lightweight Multiple Launcher. Capable of being vehicle mounted, the LML carries three rounds. It was replaced in front line British service by the Javelin S-15, sold commercially as the Starburst surface-to-air missile in 1993 (radio frequency guided Javelin was retained for some time thereafter for training purposes), and later by the Starstreak starting around 1997. The Canadian Forces have retired it without replacement.