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Chaparral Mim-72

The MIM-72 Chaparral is an American, mobile, short range anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile system. The launcher vehicle itself is also called M-48 Chaparral.


In the 1960s, Great Britain and the USA failed to develop a joint short-range surface-to-air missile system, called Mauler. The cause was that both countries decided to develop their own anti-aircraft system. While the British developed the Rapier anti-aircraft system, which was a complete new design, the Americans tried to modify an already existing vehicle into a surface-to-air missile system. The result was the MIM-72 Chaparral, which was in service from 1969-1998 with the United States, but it is still operated by countries it was exported to.


The Chaparral missile was based on the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, which was modified into a surface-to-air missile system. Finally, a launcher with four Sidewinder SAMs was mounted on the chassis of the M113 Infantry fighting vehicle. Originally, the missiles were pointed towards an aircraft and after locking on, they were launched. But within the next years, the Chaparral system was upgraded with a Fire-control radar, allowing it to attack targets when visibility is bad.