The Avenger Air Defense System helps protect U.S. soldiers against missiles fired from aircraft and helicopters.
Mobile Air Defense
The Avenger system provides mobile air defense for soldiers operating on the ground. The air defense system is mounted onto a Humvee or other ground vehicle and fires Stinger guided missiles. The missiles are used to deter airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles. They also act as a deterrent against cruise missiles. Because of its mounting onto a Humvee, the Avenger Air Defense System is mobile and can be moved around to different locations where it is needed.
Developed in the 1980s, the Avenger was first deployed during the 1991 Gulf War and used against Iraqi forces. To date, the U.S. Army has purchased about 1,000 Avenger Air Defense Systems. The systems are primarily deployed by the U.S. Army. However, the U.S. Marine Corps has also used the Avenger.
Defending the Pentagon
The Avenger Air Defense System has been used during NATO operations in countries such as Bosnia, and in war zones throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. The system gained public exposure in 2002, when it was used to protect the Pentagon on the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The Avenger was developed by the Boeing Company. It took only 10 months to take the defense system from the drawing board to active tests with the U.S. Army. The U.S. military has experimented with upgrades and improvements to the Avenger Air Defense System that include adding machine guns and chain guns. Tests have even been conducted to see if the system can be mounted onto other vehicles such as trucks and all terrain vehicles.