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Overview of MANPADS

Created on October 31, 2012

Overview of MANPADS

MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense Systems) are surface-to-air missiles that are lightweight enough to be operated by a single person. The system consists of a missile inside a disposable tube, a gripstock, and a battery to charge the missile.

Gripstock

Thermal battery

Sights

Launch tube

SPECIFICATIONS

Length: Launch tubes are generally four to 6.5 feet long

Weight: 28 to 55 pounds with launcher

Range: Can strike airplanes up to an altitude of 15,000 feet at a range of about 3.2 miles

Maximum speed: Mach 2

TARGETING TYPES

Infrared: Missiles hone in on an aircraft’s heat signature, namely the exhaust

Command line-of-sight: Operator controls missile via remote

Laser targeting: Missile follows aimed laser beam to spot on aircraft

FIGURE 1

Source: U.S. Department of State, “MANPADS: Combating the Threat to Global Aviation from Man-Portable Air Defense Systems,” July 27, 2011, http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/fs/169139.htm (accessed October 4, 2012).

IB 3763

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