During the russian invasion of afghanistan the american (CIA) covertley supplied hundreds of the stinger missiles to be used by the afghans to shoot
down russian helicopters.
There are still over (400) of these stinger missiles which are not accounted for.
Where are they, will they be used against passenger airlines.?
The Stinger missile, officially known as the FIM-92A, is designed to give ground troops a way to deal with low-flying airplanes and helicopters. From
the perspective of soldiers on the ground, low-flying enemy aircraft are normally a problem because they are either bombing or strafing, doing
surveillance work or inserting, extracting and resupplying enemy troops. Shooting down these aircraft is the easiest way to eliminate the threat.
Marines launch a Stinger anti-aircraft missile at a target aircraft during a live fire exercise.
There are four things that make the Stinger such an effective weapon for ground troops to use:
It is a lightweight, portable weapon. The missile and its launcher weigh about 35 pounds (15 kg). The launcher is reusable. Each missile is a sealed
unit that weighs only 22 pounds (10 kg).
It is a shoulder-launched weapon, and one person can launch a Stinger missile (although you normally see a two-man team operating the missile).
It uses a passive infrared seeker.
It is a fire-and-forget weapon.
The infrared seeker is able to lock on to the heat that the aircraft's engine is producing. It is called a "passive" seeker because, unlike a
radar-guided missile, it does not emit radio waves in order to "see" its target.
Here are the basic parts of a Stinger missile
And here are the basic parts of the launching system:
To fire the weapon, the soldier aims the missile at the target. When the seeker locks on, it makes a distinctive noise. The soldier pulls the trigger,
and two things happen:
A small launch rocket shoots the missile out of the launch tube and well clear of the soldier who is firing it.
The launch engine falls away and the main solid rocket engine lights. This rocket propels the Stinger to approximately 1,500 mph (2,400 kph, Mach 2).
The missile then flies to the target automatically and explodes.
A Stinger team goes through the procedures they would use to engage an enemy aircraft.
The Stinger missile can hit targets flying as high as 11,500 feet (3,500 m), and has a range of about 5 miles (8 km). This means, in a general way,
that if an airplane is less than 2 miles high and it is visible as a shape (rather than a dot), then it is likely that the Stinger can hit it. Stinger
missiles are extremely accurate.
[Edited on 2-12-2002 by quaneeri]