Avenger Weapon System
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

FM 3-01.11: Avenger
Alternative DesignationsAvenger Missile System, Avenger Air Defense System, Pedestal Mounted Stinger
Country of OriginUSA
RoleShort range air defense
Date Of Introduction1989
Combat Weight4.3 tons (3.9 mt)
Ground Pressure?
Drive Formula4 x 4
Length, Overall 15.71 ft (4.79 m)
Width, Overall 7.17 ft (2.18 m)
Height, Overall 18.67 ft (2.64 m)
Turret Dimensions, Dismounted (LxWxH) 7.22 x 7.08 x 5.77 ft (2.2 x 2.16 x 1.76 m)
with upgraded ECU, turret is 7.58 ft (2.31 m) long.
Engine150 hp (111 kw) diesel, V8, 6.2 litre
TransmissionGM Hydromatic, fully automatic.  3 speed forward, 1 speed reverse
Range275 miles (443 km)
Fuel Capacity25 gal (95 l) - Diesel, DF-2, JP-4, JP-8, VV-F-800
Road Speed55 mph (88 km/h)
Cross Country Speed?
Swim SpeedN/A
Fording DepthN/A
Applique ArmorN/A
Explosive Reactive ArmorN/A
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemYes. Environmental control unit (ECU) acts as a filter
Smoke EquipmentN/A
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
Two SVML Stingers pods Turret; manual loading 8 (4 in each pod).
Stinger: Basic, POST, and RMP
M3P .50 caliber machine gun Fixed-mounted on the right launch beam 250
Fire Control SystemNewest model: Common Fire Control Computer (CFCC)
Main Gun StabilizationGyro-stabilized
RangefinderCarbon dioxide, eye-safe laser
Infrared SearchlightN/A
Target AcquisitionVisual/FLIR 5.6-6.2 miles (9-10 km).
Mark XII crypto-secure Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) device


FM 17-15: Avenger
The Avenger weapon system is a lightweight, day or night, limited adverse weather fire unit employed to counter enemy reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) efforts and low-level aerial threats.

The Avenger fire unit has eight ready-to-fire Stinger missiles in two turret-mounted standard vehicle missile launchers (SVML), an M3P .50-caliber machine gun, a sensor package with forward-looking infrared receiver (FLIR), laser range finder (LRF) and IFF. It has an optical sight and digital fire control system.

The Avenger firing sequence is entirely automated after the firing trigger is pulled. The gunner, after receiving an unknown IFF response and having visually identified the target as hostile, will activate a missile, uncage the seeker, and, if the target is within range, fire a missile. Immediately upon firing the missile, the next missile is already spinning up its gyro and cooling down. This is done without the gunner activating the next missile.

Because of its FLIR, video recording capability, and machine gun, the system was routinely employed in Bosnia and Kosovo for nightime roadblock security, crowd surveillance, and reconnaissance.

New System Capabilities:

The Environmental Control Unit/Prime Power Unit (ECU/PPU) is a required subsystem that provides turret air conditioning and provides a separate power source in lieu of vehicle battery power. The ECU/PPU is required to eliminate a turret heat stress safety issue and to lift the conditional fire unit materiel release. ECU/PPU removes restrictions on operational use of Avenger in hot climates. This modification fulfills the user requirement for a separate, reliable power source and for heat and air conditioning to fully operate in a broad spectrum of combat environments (i.e., desert).

Slew-to-Cue (STC) provides the fire unit with a required automatic, digital capability to rapidly slew to an externally reported radar target, placing it directly into the gunner's sighting field of view. This speeds engagements and increases kills by eliminating time consuming manual searches. The STC capability will be embedded into a new Common Fire Control Computer (CFCC) that replaces the existing obsolete fire control. This upgrade also replaces the existing obsolete Automatic Video Tracker (AVT) by embedding an improved AVT capability into the CFCC. The AVT aids the gunner by providing an automatic tracking capability.

STC is an Army category 2 digitization initiative that increases system performance/kills against all targets, especially low observable threats such as UAVs and cruise missiles. It will initially be fielded as part of the First Digitized Corps, then to the remaining force. CFCC/AVT replacement is required to replace critical obsolete components and improve performance. It will result in 50% improved performance, continued sustainment and lower Operations & Support (O&S) costs.

Development History:


The HMMWV carrier can vary: M998, M1097, M1097A1, M1097A2.
Early Avengers did not have an Environmental Control Unit/Prime Power Unit (ECU/PPU).

Avenger Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

U.S. Army website
Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Ghazni, Afghanistan
U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Christopher Kaufmann
1024x768, 191K, JPEG