Stinger missile

The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) has started work to enhance the capabilities and extend the service life of FIM-92E Stinger Block I missiles.

Undertaken as part of the Stinger service life extension programme, the MCAAP will extend the service life of 2,005 missiles, of which 850 belong to the US Army, and 1,155 to the Marine Corps, by an additional ten years.

The $11m cruise missile defence systems project from Redstone Arsenal will also involve disassembling the missile and replace its ageing components.

Specific equipment to be installed includes a proximity fuse warhead section, equipped with a target detection device, new flight motor and gas generator cartridge, as well as o-rings and desiccant cartridges.

The upgraded Stinger, which is also a Block I missile, will be redesignated as the FIM-92J.

As part of the project, the workers will examine each Stinger missile on the guided-missile intercept aerial test equipment prior to disassembly.

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Components that clear the examination, such as the guidance section, launch motor, tail fin, launch tube and container, will be used in the upgrade, along with the new parts.

Meanwhile, the components that cannot be used in the upgrade will be demilitarised or retained for future use.

"The upgraded Stinger, which is also a Block I missile, will be redesignated as the FIM-92J."

MCAAP Continuous Improvement Division management analyst Kurtis Lund said: "We worked to incorporate lean practices into the project before work began.

"The intent was to error-proof the work by taking steps to produce an efficient production flow."

Following assembly, each missile will undergo a final guided-missile intercept aerial inspection, continuity and leak testing, and be subsequently repackaged for delivery to the customer.

Work under the project is expected to continue until 2016.

Manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems, the Stinger is a short-range, fire-and-forget infrared / ultraviolet missile system for use against a variety of low-flying unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, rotary wing or fixed wing threats.

The missile is shoulder-fired and mounted on a variety of air and ground-based platforms.

Image: MCAAP mechanic makes some adjustments to the FIM-92E Stinger missile on the guided-missile intercept aerial test equipment at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma, US. Photo: courtesy of Kevin Jackson, AMC.

Defence Technology