×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye


Man-Portable Air Defense System


United States | 1968



"The FIM-43 Redeye was a First Generation man-portable anti-aircraft missile system, since replaced by the FIM-92 Stinger."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/03/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The FIM-43 "Redeye" was a man-portable anti-aircraft missile launcher requiring only a single crewmember to operate it. Design began as early as 1959 with production handled by General Dynamics. The missile system debuted in 1968 and saw service up through 1995. It was particularly of use to guerilla Mujahedeen elements fighting off Soviet forces in Afghanistan, proving a lethal adversary to Soviet airmen flying at low altitudes in their Mi-8 "Hip" and Mi-24 "Hind" helicopters and Su-25 "Frogfoot" close-support aircraft. The Redeye was eventually superseded in every capacity by the much improved FIM-92 "Stinger" - a portable missile system filling the exact role for the United States Army.

With the advent of the jet age in the late 1940's, the United Army was hard at work to produce a capable anti-aircraft weapon surpassing the limitations of standard 12.7mm (.50 caliber) heavy machine guns in this role. The FIM-43 Redeye man-portable missile emerged in the late 1950's but was initially dogged by technological issues, delaying the arrival of the first generation missile system until the late 1960's with evaluation occurring in the latter portion of the decade. Limited production ensued while the system was being further developed, becoming the improved Redeye version as accepted into operational service in 1968 - becoming the standard American anti-aircraft man-portable missile defense system. Foreign operators eventually followed and consisted of Afghanistan, Denmark, Greece (eventually replaced by the Stinger), Pakistan and Sweden along with the United States (also later replaced by the Stinger). It is believed that at least 85,000 Redeye systems were produced.

The Redeye warhead consisted of a first stage booster ejector and a second stage sustainer. A top speed of Mach 1.7 can be achieved. Detonation occurs via an impact fuse. The warhead (M222) is of blast-fragmentation type and weighs in at 2.35lbs. The launcher was designated as the M171. Sighting is accomplished through a component affixed to the launcher itself. Tracking is at first visual to which the system takes over and eventually alerts the operator of a "lock on". Pressing of the trigger ignites the missile after which four stabilizing fins spring out once the missile has cleared the launcher. The booster motor is then replaced by the sustainer motor which propels the missile to the target should the lock on persist.

Operationally, the Redeye was a capable weapon though not without limitations. The missile itself was capable of only 3g forces to which a faster target could simply outrun the weapon. Additionally, the seeker was set to train in on the hot exhaust produced by jet engines meaning that the missile would have to be fired from behind the passing target (called tail-chasing) to which the target could simply out maneuver his aircraft away from the seeker head . The warhead was also of an impact-fuse blast fragmentation meaning that the tip of the missile would have to come in direct contact with the target to explode - as such "near misses" need not apply. As development in aircraft countermeasures improved, the Redeye missile also became less of a threat for its simple homing capabilities and inherent performance limitations. The Redeye was removed from service between 1982 and 1995 to which the FIM-92 Stinger system was brought online beginning in 1981.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Physical
The physical qualities of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,200 mm
47.24 in
O/A Length
1,200 mm
47.24 in
Barrel Length
18.30 lb
8.30 kg
Weight
Blast Fragmentation; Tail-Chase
Action
70mm
Caliber(s)
1
Feed
Infrared Homing.
Sights
Performance
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
14,800 ft
4,511.0 m | 4,933.3 yds
Max.Eff.Range
1
Rounds-Per-Minute
Rate-of-Fire
1,903 ft/sec
580 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye Man-Portable Air Defense System family line.
XM41 Redeye - Initial Designation of limited production systems; missile designated as XMIM-43A.
FIM-43 "Block I" - Gas-cooled seeker; revised launcher; improved warhead and fuse capabilties.
FIM-43B "Block II" - Gas-cooled seeker; revised launcher; improved warhead and fuse capabilities.
FIM-43C "Block III" - Improved launcher and warhead with revised fuse.
FIM-43D - Upgraded Missile Component
XFEM-43B - Experimental Missile; data-logging capability.
XFEM-43C - Experimental Missile; data-logging capability.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): General Dynamics - USA
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Denmark National flag of Greece National flag of Pakistan National flag of Sweden National flag of the United States

[ Afghanistan; Denmark; Greece; Pakistan; United States; Sweden ]
1 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Soldier posing with a profile side view of the FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher; color
2 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Close-up detai view of the forward portion of an FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher; color
3 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
An FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher crew scanning the skies; color
4 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
An early look at the FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher
5 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
A Redeye missile launches from its launcher in the American desert; color
6 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Close-up detail view of the FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher; note fold-out optics; color
7 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Right side view of an FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher being held by a soldier; color
8 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
A Redeye missile leaves its launcher; color
9 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
A Redeye missile clears its FIM-43 launcher system
10 / 10
Image of the General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Side profile view of a soldier holding an FIM-43 Redeye missile launcher

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
ANTI-AIRCRAFT
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye Man-Portable Air Defense System appears in the following collections:
HOME
SMALL ARMS INDEX
SPECIAL FORCES
ARMS BY COUNTRY
ARMS MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE ARMS
ARMS BY CONFLICT
ARMS BY TYPE
ARMS BY DECADE
COLD WAR ARMS
VIETNAM WAR ARMS
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)