Air Defense: May 16, 2005


China is so impressed with the American Avenger air-defense system, that they have copied it. Not once, but twice. The Avengers are hummers with a turret mounted on the back. The turret contains two missile pods (each containing four Stinger anti-aircraft missiles). Under one pod there is an M3P .50 caliber machine gun. The weapons operator has use of a FLIR (night vision device) and a laser range finder. The machine-gun, however, cant be depressed sufficiently to fire at ground targets towards the front of the vehicle. 

Both Chinese Avengers feature the same combination of sensors and short range missiles, but left out the machine-gun. The Chinese Avengers also use more powerful radar, and a larger missile. The 45 pound TY-90 anti-aircraft missile was originally designed to use on helicopters, which have a hard time carrying the heavier heat seeking missiles normally carried by jet fighters. The principal version of the Chinese Avenger mounts eight missiles and the radar on a Type 90 6x6 wheeled armored vehicle. It has a crew of three. The Type 90 is a twelve ton vehicle that normally operates like the U.S. Army Stryker. The other version of the Chinese Avenger mounts the missiles and radar in a smaller, 4x4 truck that looks like the American hummer. China is trying to get export orders for both of these systems.


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