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The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM) developed in the United States of America and entered into service in 1981. It is classified as a Man-Portable Air-Defense System (MANPADS).


The FIM-92 Stinger was originally developed by General Dynamics in 1967 under the name of the Redeye II, as it was intended to replace the FIM-43 Redeye. It was accepted into development in 1971 and given the name FIM-92, with the appellation Stinger being applied in 1972.


Peace Walker Incident

Main article: Peace Walker Incident

During the Peace Walker Incident in 1974, the Militaires Sans Frontières procured design specs for the XFIM-92A, the prototype to the Stinger. After developing the weapon system, the MSF improved upon it by enhancing its lock-on capabilities.

Post-Peace Walker

XFIM-92A, the prototype to the FIM-92.

Because of technical difficulties that dogged testing, the first shoulder launch test was delayed until mid-1975. Afterwards, production started by 1978, and was formally adopted into the United States military by 1981. An improved version was later developed, codenamed the FIM-92B, followed by a further upgrade was developed at 1984 called the FIM-92C. During this time, the Stinger missile system was issued to the United States Navy to be installed on their warships as point defense when they are stationed on Middle Eastern waters that required three people to man it. The Stinger missiles saw action throughout various wars, including the Falkands War, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the Angolan Civil War, and the Invasion of Grenada.

The FIM-92C entered production in 1987. Likewise, production of the FIM-92A and FIM-92B ended on that same year. The first examples of the FIM-92C were then delivered to frontline units in 1989. Development for a software upgrade for the sensors and software in future Stinger systems that would improve the systems performance against smaller targets started on 1992, and started production in 1995, of which the FIM-92E was designated under. In September 1993, the FIM-92 Stinger systems on United States Navy warships was decommissioned. In 1996, Block II was developed, which would have utilized a new focal plane array sensor to improve the missile's effectiveness in high cluttered environments as well as increase the engagement range to approximately 7,600 meters.

Zanzibar Land Disturbance

Main article: Zanzibar Land Disturbance

During the Zanzibar Land Disturbance in 1999, the Stinger missile system was utilized by the Zanzibar Land forces, both as a portable weapon and as one of the missile systems in their modified Hind Ds and Goliath heavy tanks. Solid Snake procured Stinger missiles in the Zanzibar Building's hangar before they were loaded onto one of Zanzibar Land's war machines, and used them to shoot down a Hind D that was between him and the Tower Building.

Post-Zanzibar Land

In 2001, a software upgrade for the Stinger was designated FIM-92F.

Shadow Moses Incident

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

Solid Snake, armed with a Stinger missile launcher.

During the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005, Solid Snake was forced to locate a Stinger missile system in order to fight Liquid Snake's Hind D, as he didn't stand a chance against the gunship without it. After procuring one, he fought against the Hind and managed to shoot it down. Snake later utilized the Stinger in his fight against Metal Gear REX, initially damaging its radome, before destroying the later exposed cockpit.

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

During the Big Shell Incident in 2009, Solidus Snake's Harrier jet was shot down by Raiden with a Stinger missile system. The Stinger was thrown down to him by Solid Snake from a Ka-60 Kasatka, piloted by his partner Otacon, after realizing that the aircraft was defenseless against the Harrier. However, its guidance system had not been updated, so it had a tendency to go off target when an enemy fired a heat signature, such as flares.

Afterwards, Solid Snake stockpiled on Stinger missiles in the event that he and Raiden faced off against the many unmanned Metal Gear RAY units stationed on board Arsenal Gear. Raiden later used the Stinger missile system to take down several of the RAY units, before becoming exhausted.

World Marshal Incidents

See also: Raid at World Marshal, Ambush in Africa, Abkhazian Coup, Investigation in Guadalajara, Raid in Denver, and Operation Tecumseh

Boris Popov with a Stinger launcher in Africa, 2018.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

During the Desperado PMC's attack in Africa, 2018, Boris Vyacheslavovich Popov, the leader of rival company Maverick, attempted to shoot down a Desperado tiltrotor chopper with a Stinger missile to prevent its escape. However, the missiles Boris had were outdated, largely because Maverick's original assignment in the area had not required advanced weaponry. As a result, because of the outdated system lacking IR and millimeter sensors, the missiles missed their target due to the flares deployed by the tiltrotor.

Raiden later procured some Stinger missile launchers during his battles against Desperado after Africa, this time with improved targeting sensors equipped with IR and millimeter sensors that prevented spoofing from flares.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Unconfirmed usage

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

During the Shadow Moses Incident, three members of the Space SEALs delivered two containers to Liquid Snake at the nuclear warhead storage facility, one of which contained a Stinger missile launcher with three missiles.[1]

Behind the scenes

The Stinger has featured as a usable weapon throughout the Metal Gear series. Its status as a heat-seeking missile makes it useful against enemy aircraft and Metal Gears.

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

Stinger icon in MG2.

The Stinger's first appearance in the series is Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, in which it is used to destroy an enemy Hind D gunship. The Stinger is found in the west armory of the Zanzibar Building on the first floor. It is used in conjunction with the radar, by hovering the cross hairs over the enemy's position on the radar screen and firing.

Metal Gear Solid

The Stinger returned in Metal Gear Solid, which featured an identical scenario to the previous game, the objective being to destroy a Hind D. It is also used later to battle against Metal Gear REX. In the 3D games, equipping the Stinger missiles will switch the player to a first person view that depicts potential targets as diamonds. Once a diamond has been in the cross hairs for long enough it will turn red signifying a target lock. If a missile is then launched it will follow the target and hit it, unless an object happens to obstruct the missile's path. The Stinger can also be used to destroy surveillance cameras, gun cameras, and enemy soldiers, but an alert is raised if guards are present in the area.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the Stinger is used against a Harrier jet and the mass-produced Metal Gear RAY units. It is also very effective against Vamp in Shell 2, as the missiles are powerful enough to knock him from the railings and can even target him when he's underwater (even if the shot misses, it can decrease his O2 Gauge considerably). Unlike the previous game, the missile can be launched and then locked on to the target afterwards to redirect the missile in mid-air.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Stinger missile system.

The Stinger appears in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, under the name FIM-92A. Although it is useful for taking out PMC helicopters and other flying targets, it serves as an alternative missile to destroy Gekko units. It can be found in the power station in South America during Act 2, Solid Sun, or bought from Drebin for 100,000 DP.

"A man-portable surface-to-air missile with full fire-and-forget capabilities.
Equipped with dual infrared and ultraviolet seekers. Originally developed for the U.S. Army, its use has spread to numerous countries and armies outside the U.S.
The Stinger has proved its worth on numerous occasions in combat environments across the world.
A useful weapon for both anti-air and anti-ground attacks.
―FIM-92A description in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the XFIM-92A prototype specs are awarded for completion of Outer Ops 5-8 and 53-56.

"A man-portable surface-to-air missile system, developed as the successor to the FIM-43. The launcher is disposable and good for only one shot.
It is a very easy to use anti-air weapon. The missiles feature an improved guidance system with dual infrared and ultraviolet seekers. An enhanced seeker cooling system also shortens pre-launch lock-on time, which allows for quicker responses to unexpected engagements with the enemy.
Players who find themselves struggling to cope with enemy air attacks are strongly advised to bring a XFIM-92A or two along.
―XFIM-92A description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

A Stinger missile system appears Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, referred to as the Surface-to-Air Homing Missile. This variant of the launcher replaces the distinctive IFF antenna with a large circular radome.

"A guided missile launcher equipped with both traditional passive infrared guidance as well as millimeter-wave active radar homing, allowing it to penetrate flare-based defenses while still offering easy fire and forget targeting."
―Surface-to-Air Homing Missile description in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance


Notes and references

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at FIM-92 Stinger. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Metal Gear Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid novelization by Raymond Benson, Del Rey Books (2008).