AN/TWQ-1 Avenger

The Avenger Air Defense System, designated AN/TWQ-1 under the Joint Electronics Type Designation System, is an American self-propelled surface-to-air missile system which provides mobile, short-range air defense protection for ground units against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters.

The Avenger was originally developed for the United States Armed Forces and is currently used by the U.S. Army. The Avenger system was also used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

AN/TWQ-1 Avenger
Class Vehicle
Type Other
Manufacturer Boeing
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1989
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America 1989 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Boeing View

Originally developed as a private venture by Boeing in the 1980s, the Avenger was developed over a period of only 10 months from initial concept to delivery for testing to the U.S. Army. Initial testing was conducted in May 1984 at the Army's Yakima Training Center in the U.S. state of Washington. During testing three FIM-92 Stinger missiles were fired. During the first test firing the system achieved a direct hit while moving at 20 mph (30 km/h).

The second test firing, conducted at night while stationary, also achieved a direct hit. The third test firing, conducted while on the move and in the rain, did not achieve a direct hit, but did however, pass within the missile's kill range and the shot was scored as a tactical kill. All three test shots were conducted by operators who had never fired the missile before.

In 1987, the U.S. Army awarded the first production contract for 325 units. In 1989, the system began its Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) series of tests. The tests were conducted in two stages with Stage 1 consisting of acquisition and tracking trials at Fort Hunter Liggett, California and Stage 2 consisting of live-fire testing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. In February 1990, the Avenger system was deemed operationally effective and began replacing the M163 and M167 VADS. Two variants were deployed based on the Humvee chassis: M998 HMMWV Avenger and M1097 Heavy HMMWV Avenger.

The first operational deployment of the system occurred during the buildup for the Persian Gulf War. With the success of this deployment, the U.S. Army signed an additional contract for another 679 vehicles, bringing the total order to 1,004 units. The Avenger was again successfully deployed in support of NATO operations during the Bosnian War. The Avenger system received widespread public exposure when it was placed around the Pentagon during the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks of 2001. The Avenger has also been deployed during the U.S. military's operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Type Mobile air defense missile system
Place of origin United States of America
Service history
In service 1989–present
Used by United States Army
United States Marine Corps
Production history
Manufacturer Boeing
Produced 1980s–present
Specifications
Weight 8,600 lb (3900 kg)
Length 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
Width 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
Height 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
Crew 2 (Basic), 3 (STC)
Main
armament
4/8 FIM-92 Stinger missiles
Secondary
armament
.50 M3P machine gun
Engine Detroit Diesel cooled V-8
135 hp (101 kW)
Operational
range
275 miles (443 km)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)


Specifications

Dimensions

  • Length – 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
  • Width – 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
  • Height – 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
  • Weight – 8,600 lb (3,900 kg)
  • Crew – 2 (Basic), 3 (STC)
  • Road speed – 55 mph (89 km/h)
  • Range – 275 miles (440 km)
  • Engine – Detroit Diesel cooled V-8
  • Engine power output – 135 hp (99 kW)

Sensors

  • Forward Looking Infrared Receiver (FLIR)
  • Eye Safe Laser rangefinder
  • Optical sight

Weapons

  • 4/8 ready-to-fire FIM-92 Stinger missiles
  • 1 M3P machine gun built by FN Herstal, a variant of the Browning AN/M3 developed for aviation use during World War II. It is a .50 caliber machine gun with an electronic trigger that can be fired from both the remote control unit (RCU) located in the drivers cab, and from the handstation located in the Avenger turret. It has a 950 to 1200 rounds per minute firing rate. Loads one box of 200–250 rounds at a time.

End notes