The FIM-92 Stinger is a very unique and incredibly useful weapon often utilized by the United States Marines. Intended to take out targets in the air like unmanned aircraft and surveillance drones, the Stinger missile is controlled by a ground team that fires the weapon manually.
In order to do this successfully, the behemoth launcher requires extensive training and practice to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the weapon and absolute accuracy in the field.
Check out this video of some Marines learning to use the Stinger in the video below:
According to the video’s uploader, the Marines featured in the clip are part of the 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalion. They are conducting their training on the beaches near Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The purpose of the LAAD unit is to fire off low altitude surface-to-air weapons – like the Stinger – in defense of Marine Air-Ground Take Forces (MAGTF). In addition, the battalion is tasked with ground security forces for the MAGTF as well.
In the video, soldiers can be seen grouped in three’s all helping with aiming and firing the launcher. The Stinger itself is fairly large stretching nearly 60 inches and weighing more than thirty pounds, so assistance with such a huge weapon is necessary.
The clip includes a few test rounds going off that demonstrate the Stinger’s power. With a puff of smoke and a bit of a bang, the Stinger fires its high explosive annular blast fragmentation warhead into the sky. The trainees’ targets include small unmanned UAV aircraft. In a couple of the clips, the soldiers can be seen successfully destroying their intended targets.
Introduced in the early 1980s, the FIM-92 Stinger is a tried and true weapon that is used by militaries all around the world. The weapon has seen combat spanning from the Falklands Wars all the way to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today, dozens of different variants of the Stinger missile are manufactured. Some recent upgrades have seen the Stinger gain better targeting, improved accuracy, more powerful warheads, faster reload times, and less expensive production.