Stinger missiles will soon add firepower to India’s combat helicopters with the Defence Ministry signing an agreement with the US Department of Defence to acquire 245 Stinger air-to-air missiles made by Raytheon, an American defence contractor and missile maker. The Indian military will receive the Stingers as part of a $3.1 billion FMS (foreign military sales) agreement inked last month. The deal includes combat helicopters, weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites. India will receive the 245 Stinger missiles, along with launchers and engineering support as part of the deal. “India joins nations around the globe who recognise that air-to-air Stinger can be a key component of attack and light attack helicopter mission configurations,” said Mr. Duane Gooden, Vice-President, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems. “Stinger significantly improves the ability of the aircraft to successfully perform today’s missions while countering existing threats,” he noted in a statement. The combination of speed, agility, and lethal warhead gives Stinger the operational edge against all classes of helicopters, UAVs, cruise missiles, and fixed-wing aircraft. Last September, India and the US signed contracts for the procurement of 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters. The new fleet could be equipped with the Stinger missile. The Stinger missile is designed to be integrated onto tactical ground platforms and fixed or rotary-wing military aircraft. Raytheon has recorded more than 270 air intercepts for the system to date. It is deployed in 19 nations and with all four US military services.
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