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 The Redeye was withdrawn gradually between 1982 and 1995 as the Stinger was deployed.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... Read More