"The story of Thambimuththus (SAMs)"
"There is some debate over the shelf-life of MANPADS, with a number of specialists claiming that weapons such as the Afghan War-era Stingers are unlikely to function today due to material determinants, such as deterioration of the propellants, batteries, and coolant units. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that MANPADS may be more durable than has been speculated for one simple reason - MANPADS are designed for use in harsh environments and rough handling by troops on the battlefield. Their propellants and coolants are reported to be serviceable after nearly 30 years of storage. They are issued in hermetically sealed cases—often featuring in-built environmental monitors, such as hygrometers—that are designed to protect them from the elements up until the last minutes before firing."
"Most MANPADS feature a thermal battery, which differs from other types of batteries that they are activated only on command. Once the battery is activated it has a life of just several minutes, and must be discarded and replaced immediately after use. Hence for the operator to engage successive targets or successive attempts he must have a ready supply of batteries. This offers the advantage of multiple firings and increases the likelihood of successful firing if one or more are damaged."
"On the other hand as a saving grace for non-state actors thermal batteries have a far greater shelf-life and durability than other batteries . . . the maker of batteries for the Stinger missile system, claims an established storage life of thermal batteries on the order of 20 years or more. Most external environments can be expected to have little or no effect on the inactivated battery. The battery is excellent for applications involving extended storage under uncertain conditions. The precise storage life of a battery is impossible to determine and depends on environmental conditions."
"While bearing in mind that MANPAD batteries have a finite shelf life, these can be replaced with commercially purchased batteries available on the open market and anyone with a sound technical proficiency should be able to construct hybrid batteries to replace used ones . . . However, this is easy said than done. One crucial feature of thermal batteries is that they are custom manufactured for acute voltage, start time, and configuration requirements. In short, batteries are tailored to the requirements of the weapon."
"In conclusion the shelf life of a MANPADs is, in large part, dependent on the conditions in which the weapon is stored. Not only the batteries that are in risk of deterioration, but missile propellants, seeker coolant too runs the risk of deterioration with time. Usually such missiles are hermetically sealed by the manufacturer and takes into consideration the rough handling by soldiers in the field."
Thank you Long Ranger. Adios and good hunting with your Strela.
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