The US Army has successfully completed qualification testing for a new proximity fuse that would upgrade and improve the capabilities of the Stinger surface-to-air missile.
Conducted at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, US, the test demonstrated the ability of the upgraded weapon system to perfectly and precisely hit the entire range of targets.
Manufactured by Raytheon, the lightweight Stinger man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) was shoulder and vehicle-launched during the qualification trials.
The new proximity fuse enables the self-contained air-defence missile system to target and destroy a wider range of battlefield threats such as enemy unmanned aircraft systems by detonating the weapon’s warhead near the target while maintaining its hit-to-kill capability.
Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice-president Kim Ernzen said: “Equipped with a new proximity fuze, Stinger is an affordable, near-term and proven solution for countering emerging threats in the battlespace.
“Together with the army, we are putting the most capable Stinger yet into the hands of our brave men and women on the battlefield.”
With the completion of the qualification test, the US Army intends to carry out a near-term fielding of the system under an Urgent Materiel Release.
In addition, the army has plans to integrate the proximity fuse into Stinger missiles as part of a service life extension programme to be carried out at the service’s ammunition plant in McAlester, Oklahoma.
Featuring supersonic speed and agility, the shoulder-fired, fire-and-forget Stinger missile can be deployed for defence against all classes of helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles and low-level fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.