UPSC MANPADS - English
Why in News?
The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are shipping weapons into Ukraine
- Countries such as India, Pakistan, Germany, UK, Turkey and Israel have also used MANPADS in their defence efforts.
- Russia is by far the biggest exporter of MANPADs
- MANPADS are short-range, lightweight and portable surface-to-air missiles that can be fired by individuals or small groups to destroy aircraft or helicopters.
- They help shield troops from aerial attacks and are most effective in targeting low-flying aircrafts.
- MANPATs or Man-Portable Anti-Tank Systems work in a similar manner but are used to destroy or incapacitate military tanks.
- MANPADS have a maximum range of 8 kilometers and can engage targets at altitudes of 4.5 km.
- The first MANPADS were introduced by the United States and Soviet Union in the 1960s.
- They are fairly lightweight as compared to other elaborate weapon systems, making them easy to operate by individual soldiers.
- They can be shoulder-fired, launched from atop a ground-vehicle, fired from a tripod or stand, and from a helicopter or boat.
- Most of the MANPADS are ‘fire and forget’ guidance systems.
- The missiles are fitted with infrared (IR) seekers that identify and target the airborne vehicle through heat radiation being emitted by the latter.
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