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AN/TWQ-1 Avenger (Pedestal Mounted Stinger)

The AN/TWQ-1 Avenger is a HMMWV M1113 that mounts a turret with 50.caliber gun + 8 Stinger G/A missiles which provides mobile, short-range air defense. Soldiers fire the FIM-92 Stinger missile from an AN/TWQ-1 Avenger. The Avenger Pedestal Mounted Stinger system is a lightweight, mobile and transportable surface-to-air missile and gun weapon system, mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).

The Avenger weapon system is a lightweight, day or night, limited adverse weather fire unit employed to counter enemy RSTA efforts and low- level aerial threats. The Avenger plays an integral role in the combined arms team, especially with winning the information war.

The Avenger weapon system was fielded on both the light M998 HMMWV and M1097 heavy 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. The Avenger, manufactured by Boeing in Huntsville, is a shoot-on-the-move, totally automated, day-and-night capable short-range air defense system. A key element of the Army's Forward Area Air Defense System, Avenger was deployed during Operation Desert Storm and was deployed in the Balkans.

Avenger fills the Line of Sight-Rear (LOS-R) portion of the Forward Area Air Defense System (FAADS). It 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 control electronics, and the Standard Vehicle Mounted Launcher (SVML). The SVML supports and launches multiple Stinger missiles (Basic Stinger, Stinger-POST (Passive Optical Seeker Technique), or Stinger-RMP (Reprogrammable MicroProcessor). Additionally, the SVML incorporates a .50 caliber machine gun and necessary fire control sensors for both weapons. The contribution this highly mobile, short range air defense system makes to the Army's full-dimensional protection enhances the ground components prospects for dominant maneuver by preserving key elements of the force.

The Avenger weapon system includes a 360, rotating turret mounted on a heavy HMMWV chassis with an upgraded suspension and 200 amp alternator. The baseline configuration consists of a gunner's turret with missile pods mounted on each side. Each missile pod, called the standard vehicle-mounted launcher, can hold four missiles that can be removed and fired in the MANPAD employment configuration. The rotation of the turret and the elevation of the standard vehicle-mounted launcher is accomplished by electric motors powered by batteries carried in the base of the weapons system. The vehicle's power system is in parallel with the Avenger battery set. The .50 caliber machine gun affords a measure of self-protection by providing additional coverage of the Stinger missile's inner launch boundary.

The turret drive is gyro-stabilized to automatically maintain the missile pod aiming direction regardless of the vehicle motion. The turret drive control is operated by the gunner with a hand controller on which the missile and gun controls are placed. The gunner can transfer tracking control to an automatic turret drive control system that uses signals for the uncaged missile seeker of the FLIR video autotracker to track the target until the gunner is ready to fire. The firing sequence is entirely automated, including superelevation and lead, so that the gunner need merely push the fire button to initiate the fire sequence and immediately select and prepare the next missile for firing. These systems enable Avenger to accurately and rapidly launch missiles.

The AVENGER is operated by a two-man crew. The gunner operates from inside the turret, and the driver operates from the driver's compartment. The health hazard assessment identified heat stress as a potential health hazard. Testing indicated that both the gunner and driver became uncomfortably hot following 60 minutes of firing when the outside temperatures near 85F. When the gunner and driver operated in Mission-Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP), significantly higher heat loads were observed. Actual firing missions for the AVENGER may last up to 12 hours, and the associated heat loads on the gunner and driver may be well in excess of acceptable levels. The health hazard assessment report recommended installation of a cooling system at all crew positions.

The Avenger firing sequence is entirely automated after the firing trigger is pulled. The gunner, after receiving an unknown IFF response and having visually identified the target as hostile, will activate a missile, uncage the seeker, and, if the target is within range, fire a missile. Immediately upon firing the missile, the next missile is already spinning up its gyro and cooling down. This is done without the gunner activating the next missile. The Avenger system has the unique ability of having a backup capability of performing its mission. Should the Avenger become disabled, the missiles in the pods can be removed, gripstocks attached, and then fired in the MANPADS configuration. Gripstocks and BCUs are stored on the Avenger during combat missions.




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