Currently, Stinger teams and platforms suffer from an absolutely anemic range that they do not really deserve, and as such, are pretty much ignored as pointless fluff by almost every deck you can take them in. This ought to change.
Stinger A (FIM-92A)
- 2450m range
- 50% accuracy
MANPADs to 20 pts (SAS stay at 35)
Effectively a worse Igla-N. If consistency is necessary, it can go to 55% to become a clone, but it's fine staying at 50%.
Stinger C (FIM-92C)
- 2625m range
- 60% accuracy
MANPADs to 25 points
Effectively a Mistral clone, just with MANPAD teams of 2 instead of 5, thus the cheaper price.
- 2625m range
- 65% accuracy
MANPADs to 30 points
Since Mistrals for cheap is not necessarily a great idea, it wouldn't be amiss to simply make the Stinger better by a hair to somewhat justify a matching price. This accuracy can be justified by the ReprogramableMP nature of the missile.
This not only improves US/NORAD SHORAD (heh) but also improve those of almost all of BLUFOR, specifically helping out minors like BDs and the like. This will not be a massive detriment to balance, but help expand the options available. Currently, the meta favors ADNs almost entirely composed of medium systems like Crotale and Osa, with the only MANPAD seeing common use on infantry being the Igla, simply because Lstr are just that good.
Also, it's not as if viable Stingers will lock down air defense on their own, as most nations only really get them on fragile teams and vehicles (exceptions being SAS and Gepard, neither of which would become OP with better Stingers). Regardless, even if there is an overperforming unit, it can simply be priced properly.
Another thing that can be addressed is the Avenger and Type 93 (which we can address at a later time).
- 5 HP > 10 HP (I know this will be changed, but nonetheless it is worth mentioning)
- x16 ammo (8 ready to fire, and 8 stored) > this can be redacted for a -5 pts buff to both of the listed prices
- Very Good (air) optics (it uses FLIR, and has an advanced FCS, it was commonly used as a surveillance vehicle as a result of its advanced optics, and yet it has the same detection range as a Fasta-4, which is quite literally some Iglas mounted to a truck with little modification)
- Stinger C stats
- 55 pts
- Stinger C stats + 2800m range
- 60-65 pts
The Avenger is a remarkably advanced system that isn't given nearly enough credit. This would make the Avenger become a viable option to take as general use and opening AA.
Now, the fun part: realism!
There is an important fact to understand here: later versions of the Stinger are able to engage aircraft at longer ranges. There are two ranges relevant to IR missiles like the Stinger, lock-on and kinematic range. The Stinger (and similar systems like Igla) are limited more so by their lock-on range, and this can be seen by the much larger range found on later Stingers.
Looking a little bit into Tsiolkovsky's Rocket Equation, the Stinger's 17 second self-det time at Mach 2.2 (remember to account for acceleration), gives a ~8,000-10,000m max range before the missile destroys itself. That is already a lot of room to work with for possible range to be filled by lock-on capability (especially given the Stinger is a very fast missile with a small cross section). The Stinger C (RMP) and previous iterations (POST) are all primarily seeker enhancements, and this ought to be represented. The Mistral and other systems of the like does not really have a vastly superior lock-on system and it shouldn't be expected to be very difficult to get a good tone out to the ranges justifying 2625m with RMPs.
Even discounting everything else, the fact that the modern US ADN is utterly incapable of advancing into anything better than an Mi-24W is laughably nonsensical. The US may have had a gap in SHORAD, but removing helicopter threats was always considered sufficiently covered by the Stinger. It's not even an issue with a lack of funding or USAF pressure, as neither of those proved to be detrimental to the Stinger's development. This gap in capability is stupid, plain and simple.
Some light reading on the Stinger if you're interested: