The Stinger weapon system is a man portable (34.5 pounds), shoulder-fired, supersonic missile system designed to counter highspeed, low-level, ground attack aircraft. Stinger is effective against helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and observation and transport aircraft. Once fired, Stinger uses proportional navigation algorithms to guide the missile to a predicted intercept point. The Stinger missile can be used as a man portable air defense system (MANPAD) when the weapon is fired from the gunner’s shoulder, mounted aboard the Avenger weapons system, or mounted in the light armored vehicle-air defense variant (LAV-AD).
Stinger reprogrammable microprocessor (RMP) (the Stinger missile’s most recent variant) is a dual-channel, passive infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) tracking seeker and proportional navigational guidance missile system. The spectral discrimination of the seeker detector material, when supercooled by the argon gas in the battery coolant unit, enables Stinger to acquire, track, and engage targets in any aspect (incoming, outgoing, or crossing). Stinger is a true “fire and forget” missile, requiring no inputs from the gunner once the weapon is fired. This allows the gunner to take cover, move to an alternate position, or engage additional targets. Stinger also possesses an integral identification, friend or foe (IFF) subsystem to assist the gunner in identifying friendly aircraft. The Stinger missile is comprised of the guidance, tail, propulsion, and warhead sections. The tail assembly consists of four folding tail fins that provide roll and stability while the missile is in flight.