Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The legendary American shoulder-fired FIM 92 Stinger surface-to-air missile (SAM) that helped defeat the Soviet Army in Afghanistan has been improved to destroy small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) or aerial drones.
The Pentagon said the U.S. Army is upgrading their Stinger to the new FIM-92J and FIM-92K variants, both of which can effectively counter all aerial threats in the near future. The J model includes huge improvements in lethality against novel threats such as UASs that are expected to infest future battlefields in a war against either Russia or China.
More significantly, the FIM-92 J and K can shoot down smaller UASs, even down to Class 1 (the smallest). In contrast, existing models of this SAM are mostly effective against larger UAS such as those in Class 3.
Existing versions of the Stinger are only hit-to-kill, meaning the missile itself has to hit the target and explode. On the other hand, the FIM-92J retains this capability but will switch to using a built-in proximity fuze to shoot down smaller aerial drones. In the proximity fuzing mode, the Stinger’s warhead will detonate when it senses it is at the closest point to the target. This new capability makes the J and K models far more effective against smaller UASs than older Stingers.
FIM-92J is designed to be used from as a shoulder-fired SAM, meaning the seeker is always pointed straight forward so the firer can point the system manually at the target. The K Stinger, however, is designed to be used from infantry vehicles such as the Humvee Avenger. An improved datalink between the missile and the launcher allows the vehicle launcher to cue the seeker to track targets the launcher may have data on.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate