stinger missile

Raytheon has secured a contract under the framework of a foreign military sale to supply Stinger air-to-air missiles to the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Awarded as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the Indian MoD with the US Department of Defence (DoD), the deal will see India acquire 245 Stinger missiles.

The contract also covers provision for launchers and engineering support.

The new weapon system is expected to enhance the firepower to the nation’s new combat helicopters.

Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice-president Duane Gooden said: "India joins nations around the globe who recognise that air-to-air Stinger can be a key component of attack and light attack helicopter mission configurations.

"Stinger significantly improves the ability of the aircraft to successfully perform today’s missions while countering existing threats."

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The latest acquisition is part of the $3.1bn deal with the US that covers the supply of combat helicopters, weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.

Stinger is a portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to provide higher precision guidance against modern threats, including fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, UAVs and cruise missiles.

The weapon system also has an air-to-air capability that facilitates its integration into most fixed- or rotary-wing platforms.

Having entered into service in 1981, the missile is currently in use with all four US military services and 18 international countries worldwide.

Image: A Stinger missile being launched from a US Marine Corps. Photo: courtesy of Lance Corporal Brandon Gwathney/US Marine Corps.