Many times in combat, our soldiers encounter low-flying aircraft. These planes may be conducting surveillance, dropping bombs, or servicing enemy troops on the ground. To help battle these dangerous situations, the FIM-92A, better known as the Stinger Missile, was developed.
Weighing in at 35 lbs, this lightweight portable weapon comes with a reusable launcher. This makes it ideal for one person to carry and use, especially since it is a shoulder-launched weapon. Termed a “fire and forget” weapon, the Stinger uses a passive infrared seeker to lock on the heat of an enemy aircraft. Once the target is locked, the soldier can pull the trigger. Once he does this, two things will happen. First, a small launch rocket will shoot the missile out of the launch tube. The launch engine will then fall away and the main solid rocket engine will ignite to propel the missile at a Mach 2 speed (1,500 mph). The Stinger will fly to the target and explode.
This amazing rocket can hit targets flying as high as 11,500 feet as far as 5 miles away. The Stinger is also known for its accuracy, thanks to its guidance system. Occasionally, a missile will be flying towards a target and become off-course. When this happens, the guidance system will automatically calculate how far off-course it is and will correct the path.
This weapon has surely changed the way battles are fought and will lead to new and better technology in the future.