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The Avenger system is a lightweight, highly mobile, and transportable surface-to-air missile and gun weapon system mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). Avenger is designed to counter hostile cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and low-flying, high-speed, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters attacking or transiting friendly airspace.
HMMWV Avenger Weapon System History
Early in the 1980s the U.S. Army began to research improved air defense capabilities. One result of the initiative was the Avenger weapon system. The initial production contract was awarded to the Boeing Aerospace Company in August 1987. Avenger was Type-Classified Standard in February 1990 and began full-scale production in April 1990. A multi-year contract was awarded in February 1992 to procure Avenger for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Approximately 1,750 Avenger units were authorized.
HMMWV Avenger Weapon System Description
Early Avenger systems were mounted on M998 HMMWVs, but were upgraded to the M1097 HMMWV variant with improved payload capacity. Avenger has a two-man crew and can operate in day or night, clear or adverse weather conditions. The system incorporates an operator's position with displays, fire controls electronics, and the Standard Vehicle Mounted Launcher (SVML), a gyro-stabilized electronic turret with digital fire control computer. The SVML supports and launches multiple Stinger missiles including the Basic Stinger, Stinger-Post, or Stinger-RMP. Each HMMWV (pronounced as humvee) carries eight Stinger missiles in two turret launcher pods, each pod capable of rapidly firing up to four fire-and-forget infrared/ultraviolet guided (heat seeking) missiles. The HMMWV Avenger configuration also includes an M2 .50 caliber machine gun for self defense against lightly armored ground targets, mounted beneath the right side Stinger launcher.
Avenger is a component of the Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD) system, filling the role of Line of Sight-Rear (LOS-R). Avenger can be linked to the FAAD Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence system (FAAD C3I), which permits external radar tracks and messages to be passed to the fire unit to alert and cue the gunner. Using the Slew-to-Cue subsystem, the commander or gunner can select a FAAD C3I reported target for engagement from a display, then, by a single push-button, initiate an automatic slew in azimuth.
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