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Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems : Key Points

Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems:

The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are shipping weapons into Ukraine, including highly sensitive items such as shoulder-fired missiles called Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems (MANPADS) that can take down aircraft.

  • Countries such as India, Pakistan, Germany, UK, Turkey and Israel have also used MANPADS in their defence efforts.
  • Russia is by far the biggest exporter of MANPADs, having sold over 10,000 such systems between 2010 and 2018 to various countries including Iraq, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, and Libya.
  • MANPADS are short-range, lightweight and portable surface-to-air missiles that can be fired by individuals or small groups to destroy aircraft or helicopters.
  • They help shield troops from aerial attacks and are most effective in targeting low-flying aircrafts.
  • MANPATs or Man-Portable Anti-Tank Systems work in a similar manner but are used to destroy or incapacitate military tanks.
  • MANPADS have a maximum range of 8 kilometers and can engage targets at altitudes of 4.5 km.
  • The first MANPADS were introduced by the United States and Soviet Union in the 1960s.

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