Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, successfully completed the first-ever demonstration of a Stinger missile fired from a Javelin Lightweight Command Launch Unit, or LWCLU, for the U.S. Army. The missile engaged and defeated an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), validating the capability of the combined systems to defeat emerging threats on land and in the air. The LWCLU’s primary mission is as the launcher for the Javelin missile, however its superior optics also allow for stand-alone Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions. The system weighs 30 percent less than its predecessor and offers twice the sight range at night and three times the site range during the day, regardless of weather conditions.
Combat proven in four major conflicts, the Stinger missile has more than 270 fixed- and rotary-wing intercepts to its credit. It’s deployed in 19 nations and with all four U.S. military services. During the test, conducted at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, soldiers from the Mississippi National Guard used a Sentinel radar simulator and an FAAD/C2 to track the target UAV, allowing the gunner to engage the aerial target with a Stinger Block I proximity fuse missile through the networked LWCLU. Because LWCLU can defeat both land and aerial threats, it’s easier for soldiers to use in complex environments. It reduces the burden of carrying additional gear.
The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM). It can be adapted to fire from a wide variety of ground vehicles and helicopters (as an air-to-air missile). Developed in the United States, it entered service in 1981 and is used by the militaries of the United States and 29 other countries. It is principally manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems and is produced under license by EADS in Germany and by ROKETSAN in Turkey. The original Stinger’s reprogrammable microprocessor will become obsolete in 2023, and a service life extension will keep the Block I in service until 2030. A contract for up to 8,000 missiles is planned to be awarded by 2026.
The FGM-148 Javelin is an American man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile fielded to replace the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in US service. It uses automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch, as opposed to wire-guided systems, like the Dragon, which require the user to actively guide the weapon throughout the engagement. The Javelin’s HEAT warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above where their armor is thinnest (see top-attack), and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight. As of January 2019, over 5,000 Javelin missiles have been fired in combat.