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The US military is looking to upgrade its portable Stinger air defense system so soldiers can shoot down planes more effectively.
“Current Stinger inventory is in decline,” the U.S. military wrote in a March 28 solicitation posted on Sam.gov. “The Army plans to begin design, development, and testing of a replacement missile in FY23, leading to production of 10,000 M-Shorad Inc. 3 missiles beginning in FY27 .”
The Army’s plans to overhaul its Stingers, call for “soldier-portable” solutions, but note that the system must be able to integrate with the Stinger Universal Vehicle Launcher.
The new Stingers must be capable of destroying helicopters and aircraft “with capabilities equal to or greater than the current Stinger missile”.
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“The system is to provide improved target acquisition with increased lethality and ranges over the current capability,” the military said in its RFI. “Candidate solutions must be capable and suitable for maneuver force operations in all battlefield environments.”
Candidates will be required to demonstrate a technology demonstration during Exercise 24, consisting of “digital simulation, looping hardware demonstration and/or live fire”.
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The request for information comes as the Pentagon has provided Ukrainian fighters with Javelin and Stinger missiles to fight off Russian invaders. The war accelerated discussions about how to improve the United States’ existing weapons capabilities.