FIM-43 Redeye

FIM-43 Redeye

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FIM-43 Redeye

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The General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye was a man-portable surface-to-air missile system. It used infrared homing to track its target. Production was terminated in September 1969 after about 85,000 rounds had been built - in anticipation of the Redeye II, which would later become the FIM-92 Stinger. The Redeye was withdrawn gradually between 1982 and 1995 as the Stinger was deployed.


In 1948 the United States Army began seeking new infantry air-defense weapons, as machine guns were ineffective against new fast jets. Several gun/rocket systems were investigated but none were promising. In the mid 1950s Convair began studies of a man portable infrared guided missile. In November 1956 the results of these studies were shown to the US Army and USMC. In 1957 official requirements were formulated, and in 1958 Convair was awarded a contract to start development of the system.

In July 1959 the development project began, in March 1960, the first test rounds were fired. Launches from a launch tube followed in May 1961, with a shoulder launch occurring in 1961. Technical problems prevented the missile entering full production: the missile did not live up to its specifications - being slower, less maneuverable and less accurate. During the testing, substantial use was made of the Atlantic Research MQR-16 Gunrunner expendable target missile.

Limited production began as XM41 Redeye Block I. The missile was designated XMIM-43A in June 1963. Block I systems were then evaluated...
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