MANPADS or Man-portable air-defense system is the name used to refer to either the U.S. built TOW and Stinger series of shoulder fired missile, or the Soviet-era and modern Russian built SAM surface-to-air shoulder fired missile. All are capable of shooting down commercial and military aircraft with a heat seeking missiles.
Many MANPADS manufactured during the Cold War have an extremely long shelf-life of decades, and are fully operational given proper storage conditions.
During the effort by rebels to oust the United States' War on Terror ally, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, more than 20,000 Soviet-constructed MANPADS went unaccounted for and fell into the hands of radical Islamic terrorist groups, and remain unaccounted for. Amb. Christopher Stevens was put in charge of the covert operation to locate and buy back unaccounted MANPADS at the time of the Benghazi massacre.
- ↑ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-usa-order-idustre72t6h220110331
- ↑ https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/nightmare-libya-20000-surface-air-missiles-missing/story?id=14610199#.UZ4nrYdwrng Libyan missiles on the loose, By David Ignatius, Washington Post Opinion writer, May 8, 2012 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/libyan-missiles-on-the-loose/2012/05/08/gIQA1FCUBU_story.html?utm_term=.a091217ed1fd https://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/48427738 Morrissey, Ed (May 8, 2014). Did Hillary refuse to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization? Hot Air website.