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Philco-Ford Alternate Stinger/Ford Aerospace Saber

overscan (PaulMM)

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Philco-Ford Alternate Stinger (USA) Philco was awarded a 23-month US Army Missile Command contract in November 1973 to develop this competitor for Stinger (see above). The missile, 18 prototype and qualification rounds of which will be manufactured, is to have semi-active laser guidance rather than the infra-red homing of Stinger.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1974/1974%20-%200393.html

$5 million contract awarded. Laser command to line of sight guidance. 10 missiles produced, 4 for bench tests and 6 delivered to Army from July 1975. First firing in November 1975 hit a stationary target.

Source:

Michael & John Taylor, Missiles of the World, Ian Allan 1976
 

TinWing

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Ford Aerospace Saber/Philco-Ford "Alternate Stinger" laser guided missile

This topic might seem more than a little confusing, since this program began as the DOD funded "Alternate Stinger" in the early 1970s, exploring laser guidance as a fallback or competitor concept to the now well known Stinger missile, but persisted until at least the late 1980s as a private venture on the part of Ford Aerospace.

To add to the confusion, Ford Aerospace marketed two alternative versions during the late 1980s, advertising both as being dual purpose surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles, with the primary difference being size.

For the shoulder fired MANPADS role:

"Basic Saber"
1.09m long
120mm in diameter
10kg

Using a standard TOW or purpose designed container launcher:

"Long Range Saber"
1.47m long
147mm in diameter
25kg

Below is a "Long Range Saber" brochure from the 1980s, found on jackehammond's Army Recognition Forum:

http://www.armyrecognition.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=762

jackehammond said:
NOTE> The Sabre was a project based on FA early AAWS-M laser beam riding antiarmor missile to replace the DRAGON wire guided missile. It was meant to operate along side the Sidewinder and give antiair units a limited antiarmor ability. It was a concept study only. And was never considered for operational use. This is one of the few information papers supplied by the manufacture.

In the end, the lineage of this system is far from clear, and the question remains whether there is a direct connection between the original "Alternate Stinger" and the two later derivatives of the Saber missile?

Does anyone have any additional sources, drawings or illustrations?
 

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jsport

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awesome find thank you for posting.
 
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