The FGM-92 is a man-portable anti-aircraft missile system in use with with US regular and special operations forces.
The Stinger uses an infra-red seeker head in the missile to acquire and home in on its targets, usually the hot exhaust from an aircraft's engine. It can be used against any airborne threat below 12,000 feet but is especially lethal against helicopters and low flying attack aircraft. The launcher tube can be reused and reloaded with more missiles. It can be operated by one person although it is typically operated by two.
The Stinger's first use in combat was by the British Special Air Service who used the weapon to down an Argentine Pucara attack aircraft and Puma helicopter during the Falklands conflict in 1982. The CIA supplied a number of Stingers to Mujahideen guerillas during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, who used the missiles to bring down numerous Russian aircraft. The introduction of the Stinger into the conflict has been credited as a turning point in the war
When operating in a theatre with potential airborne threats, ground-based Special Operations Forces such as Special Forces and Rangers may carry Stingers in their GMVs. US Navy SWCCs can carry Stingers aboard their MK V SOC boats.
FGM-92 Stinger Specifications
FIM-92 Stinger - Images and Further Info
US Marines fire a Stinger. The missile fires an initial ejection motor which propels it to a safe distance away from the operator before a two-stage solid-fuel motor is ignited which takes the missile to its top speed of Mach 2.2
photo by LCPL MANUEL VALDEZ, USMC
USAF personnel with a FIm-92 Stinger. The stinger uses a passive seeker head to first acquire the target and then, once in flight, to home in on it. The operator points the missile at the target until they achieve a lock, which is indicated by a high pitch squealing noise. Once locked, the operator pulls the trigger and the missile launches. While the Stinger homes in on the aircraft engine, in the last stage of homing in on the target, it adjusts its path to hit the aircraft's airframe.
DoD photo by MSGT Rose Reynolds
The FIM-92 missile is not only found in a man-portable launcher. The Avenger low level air defense system features an 8-tube Stinger launcher and can be mounted on a M-998 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), as shown above.
DoD photo by Sgt. Brian Cumper
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