India buys Stinger missiles
India to buy 245 Stinger missiles from U.S. In Picture: Undated file photo of U.S. Air Force personnel aiming a Stinger shoulder-fired anti aircraft missile.Reuters

Indian Defence Ministry has signed a deal with the U.S. Department of Defence for procurement of 245 Stinger air-to-air missiles made by missile maker Raytheon Company. The Raytheon Stinger missiles are a part of India's $3.1 billion deal with the U.S. that includes combat helicopters, weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.

"India joins nations around the globe who recognise that air-to-air Stinger can be a key component of attack and light attack helicopter mission configurations," said Duane Gooden, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president in a statement. "Stinger significantly improves the ability of the aircraft to successfully perform today's missions while countering existing threats," Gooden added.

The missiles are deployed in 19 countries, including Pakistan, and with all the four U.S. military services. The Stinger missile is portable lightweight anti-aircraft defence system. It can take on all classes of helicopters, UAVs, cruise missiles, and fixed-wing aircraft while also providing the operator an "operational edge" against them. The missile can also be shoulder-fired.

The Stinger missile has seen action in Falklands War, Angolan Civil War, Yugoslav Wars and during the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Raytheon stated in a press release that the Stringer has had over 270 fixed- and rotary-wing intercepts to its credit.