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Stinger Missile

Stinger Missile - STINGER MISSILE By Michael Lane Ever...

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STINGER MISSILE By Michael Lane
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Ever since the end of the First World War air power has played a crucial role in modern warfare. First being used solely as a means of reconnaissance, European powers realized that the then-modern biplanes were capable of carrying ordnance which could be dropped over their enemies. The act of bombing ones enemies from above quickly gained popularity and soon the sky was littered with airplanes carrying deadly payloads of high explosives. As technology evolved, the modern day tactical bomber became a deadly weapon on the battlefield. Tactical bombing, the act of air units bombing troops and military equipment on the battlefield, provided warfighters the ability to knock out targets on a case by case basis. This contrasted the ever-popular strategic bombing, which consisted of large formations of bombers destroying targets behind enemy lines. Arguably the most memorable if not successful tactical air bomber was the German Stuka. Used in the Second World War, the Stuka was capable of destroying single targets that posed a high threat to troops on the battlefield. In the Korean War the American F4U Corsair continued the roll of tactical bomber providing close air support to American troops. In the Vietnam War, helicopter gunships played a large part in providing low level air support. It is due to the force-multiplying nature of close air support that every military commander understands the importance of air superiority. Without the capability of having dominant air power, armies are at a severe disadvantage. As the use of close air support matured, so did the new need for air defense. The first air defense mechanisms were simple machine-gun like contraptions mounted on poles. During the Second World War the German Flak cannon in its several variations along with the American M16 GMC provided capable means of countering low-flying
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aircraft. While these tools of war had significant use, it was not until after the Second World War when more reliable missile-based air defense systems became employed. Today, one of the most modern and capable air defense technologies is the Stinger missile. Introduced in the early 1980s, the Stinger missile is classified as a man portable air defense system (MANPADS). This means it is a weapon capable of being carried, maintained, and fired by an individual soldier. While several variations capable of being mounted on vehicles and aircraft exist, the Stinger is notorious for its use in providing ground troops the capability to defend themselves against low flying aircraft (“Janes”). Since its inception, the Stinger has proved to be an extremely effective weapon capable of being used by a common foot soldier. It has gained its credentials in blood as it was used extensively in Afghanistan as well as the Falklands and Angola(“Ghost Wars”). Despite its limited modern day use by the United States Army, it still plays an important role in security systems; both in the employment of the Stinger to protect U.S.
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