Russia Ukraine War: US arms Ukraine with stinger missiles to shoot down Russian fighter jets
The United States has delivered anti-aircraft guns, stinger missiles, as military aid to Ukraine to take down Russian aircraft and helicopters, what it did in Afghanistan 42 years ago to end USSR's presence over there. The stinger surface-to-air missiles will be a boost for Ukraine's air defence if Russian fighter aircraft bombs the cities.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has entered into the eight day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a military operation and so far, Russians have not involved their airforce in the war.
Stinger shipments to Ukraine are part of the aid package that the US had announced on Friday. Apart from Stinger missiles, Javelin anti-tank missiles are also being sent to Ukraine.
In addition, Germany has also announced that it will send around 500 stinger missiles. Pitching in to support Ukraine, the Netherlands also said that it will provide 200 stinger missiles.
Stinger Missile is a portable missile that can be shoulder-fired by a single person. It is also called man-portable air defence system.
It can be fired from various positions including ground vehicles, helicopters, and airborne troops. It uses an infrared seeker to lock on to the heat in the engine's exhaust and will hit nearly anything flying below 11,000 feet.
Way back in 1979 when USSR entered neighbouring Afghanistan, the US had armed mujahideen fighters with stinger missiles to take down USSR's aircraft and helicopters. Interestingly, when USSR left from Afghanistan in February 1989, the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) started buying back stinger missiles from mujahideen fighters to prevent them from falling in hands of Iran.
The stringers were also used in other conflicts, including the Chechen war, Sri Lankan civil war, and the Syrian civil war.
(With inputs from IANS)
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