Stinger is the short-range air defense (SHORAD) missile for use in brigade, division and corps areas against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
A fire-and-forget infrared guided missile system, Stinger can be fired from a number of ground-to-air and rotary-wing platforms. It employs a proportional navigation system that allows it to fly an intercept course to the target. Once the missile has travelled a safe distance from the gunner, its main engine ignites and propels it to the target. The Stinger has been fielded as manportable air defense (MANPAD) systems, and has later been installed on various mobile platforms, including the M-163 Improved Vulcan systems, Avenger air defense Hummer vehicle, the U.S. Marine Corps light armored vehicle air-defense (LAV-AD) system and most recently – the Bradley Linebacker M-6 and Wiesel APC (used by the German Army).
The Stinger deployed today is the Stinger-RMP Block 1, which is based on the RMP (Reprogrammable Microprocessor) version in service since the early 1990s. Block 1 offers improved capability against small targets, including helicopters and UAVs. Stinger-RMP has maintained a greater than 90% success rate in reliability and training tests against advanced threat targets. Under the product improvement program (P3I) the Stinger’s hardware and software are being upgraded, in order to maintain its capability against predicted threats at maximum stand-off ranges.