M1097 Humvee Avenger Air Defense …

The M1097 Humvee AN/TWQ-1 Avenger Air Defense System also just Avenger Air Defense System, designated AN/TWQ-1 under the Joint Electronics Type Designation System, is an American self-propelled surface-to-air missile system which provides mobile, short-range air defense protection for ground units against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters.

The Avenger was originally developed for the United States Armed Forces and is currently used by the U.S. Army. The Avenger system was also used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Originally developed as a private venture by Boeing in the 1980s, the Avenger was developed over a period of only 10 months from initial concept to delivery for testing to the U.S. Army. Initial testing was conducted in May 1984 at the Army’s Yakima Training Center in the U.S. state of Washington. During testing three FIM-92 Stinger missiles were fired. During the first test firing the system achieved a direct hit while moving at 20 mph (30 km/h).

The second test firing, conducted at night while stationary, also achieved a direct hit. The third test firing, conducted while on the move and in the rain, did not achieve a direct hit, but did however, pass within the missile’s ki*l range and the shot was scored as a tactical ki*l. All three test shots were conducted by operators who had never fired the missile before.

In 1987, the U.S. Army awarded the first production contract for 325 units.

In 1989, the system began its Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) series of tests. The tests were conducted in two stages with Stage 1 consisting of acquisition and tracking trials at Fort Hunter Liggett, California and Stage 2 consisting of live-fire testing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. In February 1990, the Avenger system was deemed operationally effective and began replacing the M163 and M167 VADS.

Two variants were deployed based on the Humvee chassis: M998 HMMWV Avenger and M1097 Heavy HMMWV Avenger.

The Avenger comes mainly in three configurations, the Basic, Slew-to-Cue, and the Up-Gun.

The Basic configuration consists of a gyro-stabilized air defense turret mounted on a modified heavy Humvee. The turret has two Stinger missile launcher pods, each capable of firing up to 4 fire-and-forget infrared/ultraviolet guided missiles in rapid succession.

The Avenger can be linked to the Forward Area Air Defense Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (FAAD C3I) system, which permits external radar tracks and messages to be passed to the fire unit to alert and cue the gunner.

The Slew-to-Cue (STC) subsystem allows the commander or gunner to select a FAAD C3I reported target for engagement from a display on a Targeting Console developed from VT Miltope’s Pony PCU.

Once the target has been selected, the turret can be automatically slewed directly to the target with limited interaction by the gunner.

The modification was designed to allow the Avenger to perform unit and asset defense in addition to its air defense mission. The right missile pod was removed and the M3P .50 cal machine gun was moved to the pod’s former position. This allowed for the removal of the turret’s cab safety limits which enabled the gun to be fired directly in front of the HMMWV.

Eight of the unit’s Avengers were modified to this configuration.

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Credits: CPT Aaron Smith, SFC Jason Epperson, SGT Mark Brejcha, SFC Michael Zahnow, Anthony Sweeney, PV2 Caleb Minor, SGT Thomas Mort,

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