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General Dynamics Stinger RMP deployed in Europe.

General Dynamics Stinger RMP Deployed in Europe

US Army units in Europe began receiving the latest version of the man-portable Stinger SAM last November. The new version is fitted with the Mod. 3 Remotely Programmable Microprocessor, or RMP, the third iteration of a software module that is used to update the on-board digital microprocessor to handle new threats, without the need to redesign the missile. The RMP module is located in the gripstock.

Production Status

Prime contractor General Dynamics Valley Systems has so far produced a total of 16000 Stingers, including Foreign Military Sales quantities, for the US Defense Department.

The first 13000 were the basic version, which entered service in 1979. Considerable numbers of these were used to devastating effect by the Afghan Mujahideen. After they arrived in Afghanistan in mid-1986, Stingers shot down several hundred Soviet transport and combat aircraft, including MiG-23 Floggers, Su-25 Frogfoots and Mi-24 Hind helicopters. The Stinger was credited as being the single most influential weapon in forcing the Soviets to withdraw.

Production of the basic Stinger was followed in 1983 by the first of 500 Stinger POST models, as a transition to the Stinger RMP, of which 2500 have been produced since 1988. General Dynamics has a multi-year contract for 20000 Stinger RMPs, out of a total American requirement for 30000.

Raytheon is qualifying as a second source, and should produce its first Stinger RMPs this year.

Low-rate initial production is planned to start in 1992 in the Dornier-led, European Stinger Project Group (SPG), which is due to deliver some 4800 missiles to Turkey, 4500 to the West Germany, and 1709 to the Netherlands. In a second European production programme, Switzerland is to manufacture 2500 Stinger RMPs.

System Description

The Stinger system consists of the reusable gripstock, which contains all launch electronics and supports an integral IFF antenna; the missile, packaged in a sealed, nitrogen-filled disposable launch tube of kevlar-wound fibre; a battery/coolant unit which provides all prelaunch power and coolant gas for missile launch; and the Mk.12, Mode 4-capable IFF interrogator.

The interrogator belt pack contains a rechargeable battery which can supply power to the IFF unit for up to four days.

The POST and RMP versions feature a microprocessor-controlled IR/UV rosette scanning seeker which sharply improves target detection, resistance to IR countermeasures and background discrimination.

When employed against a low-infrared emitting target, the missile uses the UV detector for initial acquisition and guidance, before switching to the IR detector. This homes onto the target's hot exhaust plume. As the missile approaches the target, the seeker senses the rate of change of target energy.

Finally, in the terminal phase, Target Adaptive Guidance (TAG) is introduced. The TAG circuitry steers the missile away from the exhaust plume and into the target's fuselage.


The Mach 2.2 Stinger RMP missile is 1.62 metres long and has a diameter of 70 mm. It weighs 10.1 kg, including the 3 kg HE fragmentation warhead, which is fitted with a contact delay fuze. Complete missile plus launcher weight is 15.7 kg.

Maximum range is 8000 metres, though maximum effective range is around 4500 metres. Maximum ceiling is 3800 metres, and unit cost is reported to be about $35000.

PHOTO : The RMP fits in the Stinger stock. Its software can be updated to handle new threats

PHOTO : without modifying the missile.

PHOTO : GD Valley Systems has received a 695 million contract for 20000 Stinger RMPs.
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Title Annotation:remotely programmable microprocessor
Publication:Armada International
Date:Feb 1, 1990
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