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See also

Online resources on MANPADS on the Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) Initiative website include a US State Department factsheet, and a poster on MANPADS components in Albanian, "BCSM", English, French, and Russian.
» Visit the RASR Initiative MANPADS page

MANPADS

Man-portable air defence systems and other guided weapon systems

Man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs) are light-weight missile systems designed to be operated by a single individual or a small crew.  MANPADS are surface-to-air sytems, usually comprising a launcher (gripstock), a battery, and a missile packed in a launch tube that rests upon the shoulder of the operator. Most feature a guidance system that locks onto and tracks the target’s infrared (IR) signature. Often referred to as ‘fire-and-forget’ missiles, IR-seeking MANPADS require no additional input from the operator after the missile leaves the launch tube. A smaller number of MANPADS feature guidance systems that require the operator to direct the missile all the way to the target. 

The US government estimates that more than one million MANPADS have been produced in at least 20 countries since the 1960s; of these, approximately 500,000–750,000 remain in the global inventory. MANPADS have proliferated widely among governments and armed groups and are a threat to all types of aircraft, including civilian passenger planes. More than 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by MANPADS since the 1970s, resulting in at least 28 crashes and more than 800 deaths worldwide. At least 84 non-state armed groups are believed to have held MANPADS or ATGWs since 1998.

   

Small Arms Survey Publications

  • The Online Trade of Light Weapons in Libya, by N. R. Jenzen-Jones and Graeme Rice, April 2016. Security Assessment in North Africa Dispatch No. 6.

    Download (1.64 MB)
  • Missing Missiles: The Proliferation of Man-portable Air Defence Systems in North Africa, June 2015. Security Assessment in North Africa Issue Brief No. 2. (also available in Arabic)

    Download (781.18 KB)
  • MANPADS Proliferation Reduction by Design: On Countermeasures and Kill Switches, February 2015. Issue Brief No. 11.

    Download (391.77 KB)
  • Armed Groups and Guided Light Weapons: 2014 Update with MENA Focus, December 2014. Research Note No. 47, Armed Actors. (also available in Arabic)

    Download (300.07 KB)
  • Fire and Forget: The Proliferation of Man-portable Air Defence Systems in Syria, August 2014. Issue Brief No. 9.

    Download (589.63 KB)
  • Armed Groups’ Holdings of Guided Light Weapons, June 2013. Research Note No. 31, Armed Actors (also available in BCMS and Bulgarian).

    Download (459.15 KB)
  • Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS), January 2011. Research Note No. 1, Weapons and Markets (also availabe in Arabic, BCMS, and Bulgarian).

    Download (401.72 KB)
  • Conventional Ammunition in Surplus: A Reference Guide, edited by James Bevan, co-published with BICC, FAS, GRIP, and SEESAC with support from the German Federal Foreign Office, January 2008.

    More information
  • Basic Characteristics of Ammunition: From Handguns to MANPADS, by James Bevan and Stéphanie Pézard, 2006. In Stéphanie Pézard and Holger Anders, eds. Targeting Ammunition: A Primer.

    Download (1.73 MB)
  • Bevan, James. 2004. Brief Notes on Light Weapons and Potential Areas of Research. Unpublished Small Arms Survey Background Paper.

  • Pyadushkin, Maxim. 2004. An Analysis of the Production of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Russia. Unpublished Small Arms Survey Background Paper.

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Other Publications

  • Schroeder, Matt. 2013. The MANPADS Threat and International Efforts to Address It: Ten Years after Mombasa. Washington DC: Federation of American Scientists

    Download (6.97 MB)
  • Federation of American Scientists. Missile Watch: A Quarterly Publication on the Proliferation and Control of Man-portable Air Defence Systems.

    More information
  • Bevan, James. 2007. 'Connecting paradigms: MANPADS in the national and human security debates.' Disarmament Forum. No. 1, pp. 43-52.

    More information
  • United States Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate. 2010. Counter-MANPADs Program Results: Fiscal Year 2008 Report to Congress. Washington: US Department of Homeland Security.

    Download
  • DFAT (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). 2008. Man-portable Air Defense Systems: Countering the Terrorist Threat. Canberra: DFAT.

    Download
  • United States Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. 2008. The MANPADS Menace: Combating the Threat to Global Aviation from Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems. Fact Sheet (Second Edition). Washington: US Department of State.

    More information
  • Bevan, James. 2007. Connecting paradigms: MANPADS in the national and human security debates. Disarmament Forum. No. 1, pp. 43—52. Geneva: UNIDIR.

    More information
  • Schroeder, Matthew. 2007. Countering the MANPADS threat: Strategies for Success. Arms Control Today. September.

    More information
  • Schroeder, Matt, Rachel Stohl and Dan Smith. 2007. The Small Arms Trade: A Beginner's Guide. Oxford : One World.

  • Bolkam, Christopher and Bartholomew Elias. 2006. Homeland Security: Protecting Airliners from Terrorist Missiles. CRS Report for Congress. RL31741. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

    Download
  • Chow, James, et al. 2005. Protecting Commercial Aviation Against the Shoulder-Fired Missile Threat. Santa Monica: RAND. January.

    Download
  • APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation). 2004. APEC Guidelines on Controls and Security of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).

    Download (204.44 KB)
  • May, Jim. 2004. Testimony of Jim May: CEO, Air Transport Association. Washington, DC: United States Senate.

    More information
  • OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe), Forum on Security Co-operation. 2003. Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems. Decision No. 7/03, 23 July 2003.

    Download (19.01 KB)
  • US Defense Intelligence Agency. MANPADS Components. Undated (2002).

    Download
  • Jane's Information Group. 2000. Raytheon Electronic Systems FIM-92 Stinger Low-altitude Surface-to-air Missile System Family. Jane's Land-based Air Defence. 13 October.

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