“The Indian Ministry of Defense has signed an agreement with the US Department of Defense to acquire Stinger air-to-air missiles made by Raytheon Company,” the statement said. “As part of the deal, India will receive 245 Stinger air-to-air missiles along with launchers and engineering support.”
India's Stinger acquisition is part of a $3.1 billion deal with the United States that includes combat helicopters, weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.
The Stinger is high-powered and high speed surface-to-air missile that can be shoulder-fired. The missile gives its operator an “operational edge” against helicopters, drones, cruise missiles and fixed-wing aircraft, according to Raytheon.
However, the Stinger also has an air-to-air capability that can be integrated into most fixed- or rotary-wing platforms.
“India joins nations around the globe who recognize that air-to-air Stinger can be a key component of attack and light attack helicopter mission configurations," Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president Duane Gooden stated. "Stinger significantly improves the ability of the aircraft to successfully perform today's missions while countering existing threats."
Stinger missiles have been “combat-proven” in at least four major conflicts, Raytheon pointed out. Such missiles are deployed in 19 nations in addition to being used by all four US military service branches.
In 2015, the United States sold Stinger missiles to South Korea, Latvia and Taiwan. US lawmakers have also called on the Obama administration to arm the allegedly moderate Syrian opposition with portable Stinger missiles.