(V)SHORAD limitations

This press report provides some info that's extremely uncommon in regard to light air defence missiles.

I advise to read it and pay extra attention to the info on dead angle degrees.
You won't usually learn about this when looking at info about the common missiles such as the famous Stinger. What the article doesn't mention are certain restrictions regarding a laser beam rider missile's agility.

The graphics on top of this even older internet page add further to the public understanding of what missiles' range figures actually mean. Coincidentally, it's about an earlier version of the same RBS 70 missile.

This (pp 24-28) may serve you as a superficial intro to VSHORAD if wanted.

Btw, in case you wondered about the anti-tank potential of laser beam rider missiles (there's some disinformation about Starstreak, for example: Bolide at least 200 mm RHA, ADATS "more than 900 mm" RHA (with high susceptibility to reactive armour effect due to single-stage HEAT warhead) - all figures of limited reliability due to being public, of course.

related blog post: link

S Ortmann


  1. The dead space of 20 deg around the sun refers to the old Strela-1/Redeye systems (couldn't engage targets less than ~2 deg above the horizon either). So actually a quite useless bit of advormation. Modern systems are much more resistant to disorientation by unwanted sources of radiation (esp. clearly defined ones like the sun).

  2. The again modern systems which pay more attention to moderate temperatures of the aircraft fuselage have difficulties with mountainous backgrounds unless they have a UV sensor capability as well.

  3. Isn't the tracking of the fuselage normaly done by a secondary UV sensor? At least with the Stinger it is.

  4. The POST upgrade (B version) added this to Stinger, yes. The IR seekers of modern missiles tend to look out more for the fuselage warmed up by friction, engines and electronics than for the hot nozzle heat. The latter is only visible from behind and easily copied by flares.
    This doesn't mean that Stinger seekers are now infallible, of course.

    The more elaborate countermeasures introduced since later on -including the elaborate DIRCM - post a huge problem to IR-guided missiles, as do various tailored ECM technologies to radar guidance.