The U.S. Army tested a new anti-drone, higher-lethality upgrade of the Stinger missile in August, and is now closer to achieving approval for the warhead’s deployed use, Defense News reported Friday.
The service branch’s Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office tested the new Stinger units with man-portable air-defense and Avenger launcher systems at Eglin Air Force Base for three weeks.
The new Stinger features a proximity function that allows for detonation upon close range with drone targets.
Wayne Leonard, CMDS’ product lead for Stinger-based systems, said the Army intends to upgrade 5,000 existing stinger units into this new iteration under the five-year,Â $270M Service Life Extension Program.
Col. Chuck Worshim, a project manager at CMDS, told Defense News the branch expects to have around 500 deployable units of the new Stinger missile within three months after urgent materiel release approval.
The Stinger missile is generally designed as a surface-to-air warhead.