The U.S. Army Contracting Command on Monday awarded American defense industry giant Raytheon a contract to produce more than $320 million worth of Stinger surface-to-air missile systems for the U.S. Army. The estimated completion date is June 30, 2026.
According to Raytheon, the Stinger missile is a lightweight, self-contained air defense system that can be rapidly deployed by ground troops. Combat proven in four major conflicts, the weapon has more than 270 fixed- and rotary-wing intercepts to its credit. Stinger is deployed in the man-portable (MANPADS) role and on the Army’s Avenger, Linebacker, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, on Army OH-58 D and Special Operations Forces (SOF) helicopters, U.S. Navy special operation ships and USMC Avenger and Light Armored Vehicle-Air Defense (LAV- AD) systems, the company says.
The Defence Blog website reported that in 2019 the U.S. Army began retrofitting its Stinger missiles with proximity fuses, which enable the missiles to destroy unmanned aircraft with either direct hits or detonations near them. A pair of Stinger missiles intercepted two drones using proximity fuses during an Army test in 2017.