Stingers Boost European Short Range Air Defense

The FIM-92 Stinger is a shoulder-fired Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) developed by United States in the late 1970s. It was designed by General Dynamics and manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems. The system is in service from 1981 (second generation) until now (fourth generation). The Stinger is designed to engage fast, low level, ground attack aircraft. The Stinger is also highly lethal against helicopters and transport aircraft.

As part of efforts to beef up its short-range air defense (SHORAD) and multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) capabilities in the European theater, the US Army is to train soldiers of the 7th Army Training Command, based at nearby Grafenwoehr in Germany, on how to operate the FIM-92 Stinger Man-Portable Air-Defense System (MANPADS). This will be the first such training effort in about fifteen years, and preparations for the training has already seen about 50 Observer Coach/Trainers (OC/Ts) undergo their own training on the Stinger at the nearby Hohenfels Training Area on 10 January. The Army’s goal is to train and field 62 two-man Stinger teams into the operational force as soon as possible, and aim to align one SHORAD battalion with each division.

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