The FIM-192A Scorpion (export designation: Einmann-Flugabwehr-Rakete Skorpion ("one-man anti-aircraft missile Scorpion", or Fliegerfaust Skorpion), or Missile Sol-Air Scorpio ("Scorpion ground-to-air missile"), or Anti-aircraft missile complex "Skorpion") is a lightweight, shoulder-fired, one-shot disposable, passive electro-optically guided, fire-and-forget, man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) that is operated by a single individual or small crew. The FIM-192A is designed to counter fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAV), cruise missiles and other air threats operating at low to extremely low altitudes over the battlefield. It is capable of all-aspect line-of-sight engagement of high speed and highly manoeuvring combat aircraft in head-on, tail-on or crossing engagements with quick reaction against pop-up threats. The missile has high hit probability through fast reaction, high hit speed at all altitudes, and high manoeuvrability to track and intercept fleeting and agile targets.
The FIM-192A consists of an ejector motor and rocket-propelled missile as a single 'wooden' round of ammunition that is pre-packed into a transport and launch container (TLC) - a disposable filament wound fibre reinforced plastic launch tube sealed at both ends by frangible fly-through covers and foam end caps that rests upon the shoulder of the operator - a detachable launcher mechanism (known as the gripstock), a detachable thermal sighting unit (TSU) for all-weather, day/night operation, and a replaceable thermal battery/coolant unit assembly that provides pre-launch power and cooling to the missile avionics, arming circuits and nose seeker. An integral identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator provides for airspace deconfliction to minimise the risk of fratricide by friendly forces. Terminal homing is by means of multispectral two-colour imaging infra-red (IIR) and solar-blind ultraviolet (UV) semiconductor photodetectors that have a wide field of regard to track manoeuvring targets against optical clutter, and infrared counter-countermeasures (IRCCM) capability to resist jamming and decoys.
The components are disassembled for safe long term storage, shipping and handling, with a shelf-life exceeding 20 years, and can be quickly brought to a ready-to-fire condition by reassembly, and shouldered and launched by an expert gunner in under 30 seconds. The missile weighs 10.5 kg at launch, 14 kg complete with gripstock and 18 kg in total with the thermal sight. The weapon is further adaptable to a number of platforms: pedestal mounted on a twin-launcher and receiving off-board radar, IFF and optronic targeting information to cue the seeker, on wheeled or tracked vehicles as part of a hybrid gun/missile anti-aircraft weapon system, on remote-operated trainable turrets for surface ship point defence, and fired from helicopters in a twin-launcher air-to-air intercept configuration.
The missile airframe has a continuous diameter cylindrical body separated into a homing section with the seeker behind a low supersonic drag pyramidal-shaped dome; an avionics section containing the control surfaces and electric actuators, solid-state guidance and control electronics, and lithium primary battery; a warhead section containing the warhead and fuse assembly; and a propulsion section containing the flight motor casing with dual-pulse propellant grains, convergent-divergent nozzle and tail-fins. The control surfaces and fins are folded before launch and spring out on exit of the launch tube, consisting of forward all-moving cruciform canard fins indexed in line with fixed cruciform straight tail-fins, with the missile being spin stabilised (i.e. a rolling airframe) during flight. A jettisonable ejector motor or booster is attached at the nozzle end of the flight motor to provide the initial thrust to clear the launch tube.
The FIM-192A utilises a three-phase launch-boost-sustain rocket flight profile consisting of a first stage solid-propellant booster (the ejector motor) attached at the nozzle end of a second-stage, dual-pulse solid-propellant sustainer (the flight motor) when inside the launch canister. Both the ejector motor and flight motor burn a low-smoke producing composite propellant with a very high Isp (specific impulse) formulation of high energy density oxidizer agent ammonium dinitramide (ADN), an energetic binder based on glycidyl azide polymer (GAP), and a high energy density fuel of powdered aluminium hydride (AlH₃), that offers 10-15% greater performance than conventional composite propellants.
The missile is soft-launched at 50 m/s by the booster, which burns out inside the launch tube to minimise launch signature and protect the gunner from backblast and recoil. On exit from the tube the missile coasts a safe distance of 15 metres downrange from the launch position before jettisoning the first-stage booster and safely igniting its second-stage sustainer rocket. The flight motor has a dual-pulse single-chamber configuration with boost pulse (acceleration) and sustainer pulse (constant velocity) solid rocket propellant grains separated by a frangible disk. The boost grain provides 2.5 seconds of initial thrust to accelerate the missile to a peak velocity of Mach 2.6, where it will coast in free-flight for 0.5 seconds before ignition of the sustainer grain that provides 4 seconds of continuous thrust for end-game manoeuvring. The top speed at motor burnout can be in excess of Mach 2.8 on intercepting a target, with a total flight time of 7 seconds at maximum range.
The FIM-192A has a fifth-generation passive all-aspect dual-channel IR/UV strapdown (i.e. non-gimballed) seeker that utilises multispectral optical imaging techniques, including two-colour discrimination for high resistance to countermeasures and electro-optical clutter; and optical preprocessors and automatic target recognition algorithms to recognise IR/UV spectral features on targets. The thermal imager core is a staring-type two-stack 64 × 64 (4,096 pixel) focal plane array (FPA) imaging infrared (IIR) sensor based on indium arsenide (InAs) photon detecting infrared detectors. The seeker is cooled using the Joule-Thomson effect, by compressed air supplied from the battery coolant unit (BCU), to an operating temperature of 80 K (-193.15°C) that lowers the noise-equivalent temperature differential (NETD) of the sensor elements to increase their spectral sensitivity in specific atmospheric transmission windows that are insensitive to weather effects and environmental obscurants (e.g., smoke, dust, haze, rain, fog, etc).
The thermal channel operates concurrently in the 3-5 μm medium wave infrared (MWIR) and 8-12 μm longwave infrared (LWIR) spectral wavelengths to detect and track engine exhaust plumes, hot engine parts like tailpiles and turbine blades, aerodynamic or plume heated surfaces, and even earthshine, sunshine and skyshine reflectivity off the airframe. A separate optical channel is based on a uncooled cadmium sulfide (CdS) photoresistor operating in the 300-500 nm ultraviolet/visible spectral range that offers directed infra-red countermeasure (DIRCM) resistance versus modulated laser jammers, infrared lamps, flares and towed decoys, low false alarm rate, as well as discrimination and rejection of background noise, false targets and optical clutter (solar dazzle, brightly lit clouds, ground heat, etc). Dual image preprocessor pipelines based on an image signal processor (ISP) and acousto-optic tunable filter (A-O filter) architecture are directly integrated into both optronic channels to enhance target imagery analysis and optimisation of the target line-of-sight rate.
The detector array is housed behind an octagonal facetted dome that functions like a single flat window to allow the strapdown seeker a single instantaneous field of regard without using mechanical gimbals for high off-axis acquisition and tracking. The high sensitivity and discrimination capabilities of the seeker allows engagement of targets with low thermal signatures in high clutter environments (typical for helicopters flying 'nap-of-the-earth' and terrain masking flight paths), and all-aspect homing independent of target aspect angle i.e. head-on, tail-on or crossing. The guidance system includes a video auto-tracker to maintain the seeker's orientation (missile lock) on the target, and a open-loop autopilot that uses non-linear proportional navigation guidance to continuously correct the missile trajectory to steer it on a constant collision course towards the target. Micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) three-axis solid-state accelerometer and gyroscopic rate sensors provide the navigational inputs and aerodynamic feedback to the autopilot, which generates steering commands to the electric actuators that move the canard wings to manoeuvre the missile to counter successfully any evasive target action, even extended targets manoeuvring up to 9 g.
The missile is equipped with a 2.73 kg (6 lb) controlled fragmentation high-explosive (HE-FRAG) warhead comprising a FOX-7 (1,1-diamino-2,2-dinitroethene) insensitive plastic-bonded explosive annular bursting charge enclosed by a pre-fragmented jacket made from 720 pre-formed sinter bonded cubic tungsten-nickel-copper alloy fragments. On detonation the casing shears and breaks apart into fragments of controlled sizes with a cone-shaped high-density fragmentation pattern directed into the target flight path. Target destruction is achieved by a combination of blast shockwave and penetration of the aircraft or missile fuselage by the high-speed fragments. To ensure high hit probability and lethality the warhead is controlled by a non-contact laser proximity fuze comprising a pulsed laser transmitter and an optical receiver circuit. The fuse initiates the explosive train via an electronic safety, arming, and fuzing (ESAF) device when the missile is at a miss distance of less than 1 metre from the most vulnerable part of the target airframe. Redundancy is provided by a backup piezoelectric impact/graze contact fuze for a direct hit, and a time delay self-destruct device that operates 15 seconds after launch in event of a miss.
The reusable gripstock is the primary man-machine interface between the gunner and weapon system, with the disposable launch tube attached to it by a quick-release latch and connector pins, and cannot function without it. Located on the gripstock assembly is the safety and actuator switch to energise the electrical and arming circuits of the weapon, an uncaging switch that cues the missile seeker and video auto-tracker, the firing trigger to initiate the launch sequence, and the interrogate switch that operates the identification friend or foe (IFF) system. All these controls can be manipulated even while wearing bulky handwear such as flame-resistant gloves, cold weather gear or MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) Level IV gear.
On the underside of the gripstock is a receptacle port for inserting a disposable single use battery coolant unit (BCU) that contains a thermal battery and pressurised gas bottle. The thermal battery, or primary reserve battery, produces high voltage electricity on activation from molten inorganic salt electrolytes and has a 10-25 year shelf life. The gas bottle contains high-pressure compressed pure air that cools the IR/UV detector arrays in the seeker to their operational temperature in only 4 seconds. On activation the BCU provides a limited 60 second supply of pre-flight electrical power and coolant, and is fully expended on the launch of the weapon.
3-5 µm (filter bandwidth)
White = Hot,
Field of View (FOV)
NFOV: 6° × 4°
4.57 m to infinity
Unity/one button 8×
one button 4×
Minute Of Arc (MOA)
Air Target Detection Range
NFOV: @ 10 km
±3 m for 30 mins
-32⁰C to +46⁰C
-46°C to +71°C
The Scorpion Thermal Sight Unit (TSU) is a passive, long-range, digital, all-weather, day/night vision device used to detect, acquire, identify and track low observable targets from all aspects and under severe visibility conditions. The TSU attaches by a quick-release locking mount to the side of the disposable launch tube by latches and connector pins. It has a rugged polyamide housing and contains a cooled thermal imaging core, long focal length (zoom) lens telescope, integrated IFF interrogator, anti-jam GPS receiver, solid-state inclinometer, digital magnetic compass, fire control computer, electronic reticle, and long eye-relief eyepiece lens. It has its own independent power source with a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer (Li-poly) battery that provides 12 hours of operation at a 50% duty cycle.
The thermal imager core is a Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDCA) using a high-operating-temperature (HOT) detector based on a strained layer superlattice (SLS) broadband staring-type focal plane array (FPA) with a megapixel (1280×1024 pixel) format, 12-μm-pixel-pitch Type II indium arsenide antimonide (InAsSb) photonic detector packaged in a lightweight compact dewar housing. The thermal imager operates in 3-5 μm midwave infra-red bands and is cooled by a 0.5 W miniature linear drive, dual-piston Stirling-cycle rotary cryocooler for high spectral sensitivity. The optical system offers dual (wide and narrow) fields of view via a continuous zoom telescope for high spatial resolution and long-range surveillance. The maximum range of acquisition is 30 km (16.2 nmi), with small air target detection at 20 km (10.79 nmi) and identification/recognition at 10 km (5.39 nmi).
The operator can also determine target position using the integral IFF interrogator, as well as gather GPS, azimuth, and elevation readings on the target from other built-in sensors. IFF and GPS signals are received through a low profile microstrip patch antenna fitted conformally across the top of the sight housing. When pedestal mounted the TSU is replaced by a forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) sensor and linked to an external antenna assembly using a high gain Yagi directional antenna for greater range performance. The IFF interrogator is compatible with Mode 2, 3/A, 4 and 5 military transponders and Mode S (Select) civilian transponders to positively identify friendly aircraft, sending a challenge signal and listening for the coded reply sent by an aircraft IFF transponder. The responses are processed into audible friendly or unknown tones played through a speaker or earphone worn by the gunner.
A crew typically comprises of a gunner and spotter. On a air warning, the spotter directs the gunner towards the threat axis where they begin optically tracking the threat and automatically gathering GPS, azimuth, and elevation readings with the Scorpion sight unit, and can interrogate it by IFF to positively identify it as a threat. If the wrong target is found or it is identified friendly the gunner can continue surveillance or adjust the point of aim by moving the boresight and electronic reticle and repeating the procedure until the weapon is laid on to a valid target. On the order to fire the gunner pushes a switch on the gripstock to uncage the seeker so it can autonomously track the target, and now has 60 seconds to pull the firing trigger to launch the weapon. The seeker will drive the electronic reticle, using inputs from the missile guidance system to calculate the aim point and launcher superelevation angle corrected for ballistic drop, crosswind drift adjustment, and lead-angle if engaging a crossing target. Once the seeker has acquired the target i.e. "locked on" an audible tone plays through a speaker or attached earphone and an indicator light flashes and the weapon becomes armed and is ready to fire. Once fired the missile tube can be discarded and a fresh missile tube inserted into the gripstock to continue engaging threats. The procedure can be aborted at any stage and the weapon returned to a safed condition and available for reuse. Battery coolant units are single use only and must be replaced once activated, even after a firing is aborted, with one or two spares issued per gripstock and missile round.
FIM-192A Scorpion: shoulder-launched man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) as described above.
All other versions use the same missile and launch cannister, with other hardware substituting for the gripstock.
MIM-192A Scorpion/RIM-192A "Sea Scorpion": Designation for pedestal launched variants of the FIM-192A for the very short range air defence (VSHORAD) mission, using a twin launcher (tripod ground mount firing post) or quad or sextet launcher (elevated platform fitted to the rear bed of a truck or small riverine or coastal craft). Launchers are manually trainable and operable by a single crewperson, and reloadable using the same disposable transport and launch container as the FIM-192A. A short-range radar system with IFF interrogator can be linked to the launcher for air warning, cooperative/non-cooperative target acquisition and missile cueing.
AIM-192A Air-to-Air Scorpion (ATAS): Fired from a helicopter using a twin-tube missile launcher consisting of two FIM-192A transport and launch containers grouped on a wingtip station or wing pylon station, along with an electronics box and MIL-STD-1760C stores/weapons databus and electrical interface.
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Etoile Arcture Aerospace Forces
Etoile Arcture Maritime Forces
Royal Imbrinium Army
Royal Imbrinium Air Force
Royal Imbrinium Navy
Royal Imbrinium Marine Corps
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Corps des Marines
Crowned Eothasi Army
Crowned Eothasi Navy
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