Avengers

Boeing pushes for new multi-weapon Avenger system

The Humvee-mounted Stinger anti-aircraft system could become a modular platform for an array of weapons.

AFPS carries what Boeing calls its “classic” Avenger weapon, the Stinger surface-to-air missile. But it can field an array of other weapons, including the AIM-9X surface-to-air missile, which has longer range than the Stinger.

Hellfire missiles and 2.75-inch guided rockets on AFPS can defend against ground targets and a remotely operated, lightweight 25mm machine gun can counter air or ground targets, Boeing said.

The company says AFPS can even carry a high-energy laser to destroy unexploded ordnance on the ground or unmanned aircraft in the air. Weapons can be removed or installed in a matter of minutes.

While the Avenger’s rotating turret is mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee, the AFPS system can be placed with or without a turret on a variety of vehicles, including the new mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles that being used to protect U.S. troops against roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

Other potential platforms include a whole range of medium tactical vehicles or even the ground or a ship.

Here’s a standard Stinger-equipped Avenger letting one fly:

A US Marine Corps (USMC) FIM-92 Stinger ground-to-air missile is launched from an Avenger (Pedestal Mounted Stinger) mounted on an M1097 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Heavy HUMMER Variant (HHV), by the USMC 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD), Marine Corps Base (MCB) 29 Palms, California. Photographer's Name: LCPL MANUEL VALDEZ, USMCLocation: MCB 29 PALMS Date Shot: 7/15/2001

A US Marine Corps (USMC) FIM-92 Stinger ground-to-air missile is launched from an Avenger (Pedestal Mounted Stinger) mounted on an M1097 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Heavy HUMMER Variant (HHV), by the USMC 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD), Marine Corps Base (MCB) 29 Palms, California. Photographer's Name: LCPL MANUEL VALDEZ, USMCLocation: MCB 29 PALMS Date Shot: 7/15/2001

Murdoc has written about Avengers being modified for combat in an environment where the enemy has no aircraft before:

Avengers modified for ground combat
UPDATE: Avengers modified for ground combat
‘Laser Avenger’ just sounds cool

This seems like a viable approach for a modular system.

Comments

  1. I’ve been pondering air defense systems for a while now, and I thought of something interesting — why not just build a towed launcher?

    The Avenger is only a *Mobile* SAM anyway (as opposed to a Self-Propelled one) that can only engage aircraft when it’s parked and stabilized, so no Mobility would be lost.
    On the other hand, we’d gain a short-ranged SAM system that could be towed by almost any Utility Vehicle in the US inventory, airlifted (and possibly air-dropped) in large numbers, and sling-loaded under relatively small-payload helicopters (e.g., the UH-60 Blackhawk). It would also cost less than attaching the same launcher to a Humvee.

    An Avenger firing Sidewinders however, wouldn’t JUST be better — it’s what the US military should have fielded in the first place INSTEAD of the Stinger-launching Avenger.

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