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FIM-43 Redeye



Overview


FIM-43C Redeye

Side view of US soldier with FIM-43C Redeye.
Source: US Army (photographer unknown) - © public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Man portable SAM system
Entered service
1968
Status
Obsolete
Development
1959 - 1966
Developer
United States - Convair
Production
1968 - 1969
Producer
United States - General Dynamics
Number produced
85.000 missiles produced
Designations
Hamlet
Danish service
RBS-69
Swedish service

Description


Introduction

The FIM-43 Redeye is a Cold War era man portable SAM system of US origin. It was developed in the 1960's as machine guns proved of limited effectiveness against jet fighters. The Redeye was the first US man portable SAM system.

Layout

The Redeye uses a conventional design. The infrared missile has the seeker and warhead in the nose and the rocket engine and booster at the rear. Four foling wings near the nozzle provide stabilization. The gripstock launcher features a launch tube, sight unit, replaceable battery pack and trigger unit.

Firepower

The Redeye uses a supersonic missile travelling at Mach 1.7. The maximum range is 4.5 km under optimal conditions. The infrared seeker is easily fooled by flares and only allows receding fighter aircraft to be engaged. The limited size warhead uses an impact fuze. The kill probability is estimated at 0.4 versus a MiG-21 figher jet and An-12 transport plane and 0.5 versus helicopters.

Mobility

The Redeye is a very mobile system as the missile and its gripstock launcher are man portable, even over longer ranges. The system is operated by a single person.

Users

The Redeye was widely used by US forces until supplemented and replaced by the much more capable Stinger. The Redeye was exported to numerous nations with good ties to the USA. These are mainly located in Europe and South America. In most nations the Redeye has been replaced and its use is very limited nowadays.

Details


FIM-43C Redeye

Soldier with FIM-43C launcher showing passive infrared seeker in launch tube.
Source: US Army (photographer unknown) - © public domain

System composition

The FIM-43 Redeye system consist of the M171 grip stock launcher and FIM-43C missile. A FIM-43D missile with unknown improvements is also said to exist. The FIM-43A and FIM-43B missiles were only used during development.

The FIM-43 is easily identified by its gripstock launcher. It has a very lean design and the battery is mounted vertically near the pistol grip.

Facts FIM-43C
General
Origin
United States
Type
Surface to air missile
Dimensions
Diameter
70 mm body
0.14 m wingspan
Length
1.283 m
Weight
8.2 kg
Guidance
Guidance
Single channel passive infra-red homing seeker, gas cooled
Warhead
Type
HE-Frag
Weight
2 kg with 0.36 kg HTA-3 explosive
Fuse
Contact fuse
Engagement envelope
Propulsion
Single-stage solid propellant dual-thrust ejector and sustainer motor
Speed
580 m/s maximum
Range
0.5 to 5.5 km
Altitude
50 m to 2.7 km
Launcher
Type
M171 gripstock
Weight
4.4 kg for empty launcher

Media


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The FIM-43 Redeye was the US counterpart to the Soviet Strela-2M in era and performance.

RBS-70

The RBS-70 was developed as a sucessor to the American FIM-43 Redeye in Swedish service.