Recent U.S. Army testing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. showed the capability of Stinger anti-air missiles equipped with new proximity fuzes against small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). During the first-time testing of the modified Stinger missiles—manufactured by Raytheon Co.—against two small UAVs, the missiles successfully intercepted the two drones, one of which was an MQM-170C Outlaw. UAVs with explosives and surveillance equipment have become standard equipment on the battlefield, and this field testing showed the effectiveness of the light-weight Stinger air-defense system against the threat of hostile UAVs.
The Stinger is a readily transportable weapons system (see photo) that can be rapidly deployed by ground troops. When equipped with a proximity fuze, it can detonate during contact or even in close proximity to a hostile UAV. Stinger missiles are deployed in a number of different configurations, including man-portable, helicopter air-to-air, and ground-based vehicle applications.
“Stingers are usually loaded with direct impact warheads, which is appropriate for larger targets such as cruise missiles and aircraft,” noted Kim Ernzen, vice president of Raytheon’s Land Warfare Systems product line “The new proximity fuze gives ground forces the ability to engage small, elusive targets using a proven, familiar system.”