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In keeping with the Army’s broad strategic aim for the Bradley, they’ve decided to arm the Bradley Inc's Fighting Vehicles with Stinger heat-seeking missiles. This will aid with the infantry’s ability to monitor air threats and eradicate them. Presently, most Bradleys are equipped with tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided (TOW) anti-tank missiles. These missiles are land weapons used to attack vehicles and bunkers.
Unfortunately, TOW missiles cannot be used for air threats such as drones, helicopters, or aircrafts. But with the addition of Stinger missiles, the Bradleys will be capable of better protection from threats from the ground and from the air.
Stinger missiles are “infrared-guided surface-to-air” weapons. These missiles have twice the range that TOW missiles do. While TOW missiles can hit targets more than four kilometers away, Stinger missiles can hit targets up to eight kilometers away. The Stinger missiles’ ability to use long-range, high-tech sensors allow the infantry to better locate enemy targets.
Introducing Stinger missiles onto Bradley vehicles is part of the Army’s short-range air defense strategy (SHORAD). Their main goal is to enforce air defense weapons in the infantry. For instance, both China and Russia have helicopters armed with weapons that pose major threats to infantry troops. The concept of SHORAD is to eliminate these targets prior to a greater attack.
Bradleys not only need weapons to protect themselves from attacks on ground, but weapons to protect from attacks in air as well, especially because of easy access to drone attack technology. Bradley vehicles are important in infantry because infantry troops do not have the same weaponry or ground mobility that these vehicles do.
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