The US Army has completed testing for Raytheon’s Stinger anti-air missiles, which have been equipped with new proximity fuses.
During the test, the missiles intercepted two small unmanned airborne systems, including an MQM-170C Outlaw and an unidentified smaller system, for the first time.
The proximity fuses allow missiles to destroy targets by making contact or detonating at close range.
Raytheon Land Warfare Systems product line vice-president Kim Ernzen said: "Stingers are usually loaded with direct impact warheads, which is appropriate for larger targets such as cruise missiles and aircraft.
"The new proximity fuse gives ground forces the ability to engage small, elusive targets using a proven, familiar system."
The lightweight Stinger weapon system is a self-contained air defence system that can be rapidly deployed by ground troops and on military platforms.
It is combat-proven in four major conflicts and currently deployed in more than 18 nations with all four US military services, Raytheon stated.
This missile is also used on Apache helicopters for air-to-air engagements.
The Stinger-Reprogrammable Microprocessor (RMP) is claimed to maintain a success rate greater than 90% in reliability and training tests against advanced threat targets.
To date, Stinger has recorded more than 270 fixed and rotary-wing intercepts.
The US and coalition partners deploy Stinger in multiple configurations, including man-portable, helicopter air-to-air, and ground-based vehicle applications.
Image: A Stinger missile is launched from an AN/TWQ-1 Avenger. Photo: courtesy of Lance Corporal Brandon Gwathney, United States Marine Corps.