Type 91 Surface-to-air missile

The Type 91 surface-to-air missile is a Japanese man-portable surface-to-air missile system. Its appearance is similar to the US-made FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missile. It was created in order to replace its stock of American-made Stinger MANPADS, since the Type 91 has a better guidance system, which consist of both light and infrared system options. The Stinger, on the other hand, uses a passive infrared homing guidance system.

In the ranks of the JSDF, the Type 91 is colloquially known as Hand Arrow. The Type 91 is sometimes mistaken as a Japanese-made version of the Stinger. The Type 91 is currently exclusively used by the JSDF and has not been exported overseas to date due to previous interpretations of post-war constitutional restrictions and the laws arising from them.

The Type 91 is officially treated as a 4th-generation MANPAD system.

Type 91 Surface-to-air missile
Class Missile
Type Surface to Air
Manufacturer Toshiba
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1994
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1994 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Toshiba 1991 View

Development work on an advanced infra-red seeker began in 1979 at the Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) after Toshiba and Kawasaki Heavy Industries submitted their projects with the former being selected. In 1982, the Japan Self-Defense Forces began looking for a replacement for the FIM-92 Stinger which was then in service via Foreign Military Sales. Development of the missile was then known as Keiko or SAM-X was deferred until 1987. Toshiba took over the project in 1988 and began engineering development. The development was completed in 1990, and low rate production was started in 1991. The missile was initially designated the Type 91 Kin-SAM and as the SAM-2. It was first deployed in 1994.

The adoption of the Type 91 allowed the JSDF to gradually retire the Stingers, with the last stocks officially removed from active JGSDF service in 2009. JGSDF Apaches still retain the Stinger as anti-aircraft missiles.

In 2007, the Type 91 Kai was delivered by Toshiba after being produced to replace the original Type 91 with several improvements including its motor and capability to be fired in the dark.

Type Manportable surface-to-air missile
Place of origin Japan
Service history
In service 1994–Present
Used by Japan
Production history
Designer Toshiba
Designed 1979-1990
Manufacturer Toshiba
Unit cost $ 145,000 (As of 2006)
Produced 1991–1993 (Original)
2007–Present (Type 91 Kai)
Specifications (Type 91 Kin-SAM)
Weight 11.5 kg
Length 1.43 m
Diameter 80 mm
Crew 1
Engine Solid Rocket Motor
Mach 1.9
Infrared homing
Kawasaki OH-1
Toshiba Type 93 Surface-to-air missile

End notes