Noted authority Steven J. Zaloga charts the development, combat use, and influence of man-portable air defense systems, from the late 1960s to the present day.
The first attempts at developing a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) based around a guided missile began in the mid-1950s, as a response to the increased speed and maneuverability of jet aircraft. This book charts the technological evolution of the MANPADS and explores their combat usage and the lessons from these encounters. Besides detailing the missiles, it also surveys the various methods developed as countermeasures to the MANPADS threat.
The first generation of MANPADS, such as the US Army's Redeye and the Soviet Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail), saw combat use in the Vietnam War in 1972 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The next generation of infrared-guided MANPADS, such as the US Stinger and Soviet Igla, came to prominence following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Since the 1970s, MANPADS have been used in innumerable wars, border conflicts, civil wars and insurrections. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and carefully chosen photographs, this study tells the story of these lethally effective weapons, from their origins to their use today.