oa Arms Control : Africa - Manpads : the problem of proliferation in sub-Saharan Africa
Man-portable air defence systems (Manpads) are short-range surface-to-air missile (SAMs) systems that are carried and operated by either a single individual or a crew of individuals. They are commonly referred to as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Manpads were developed in the late 1950s to provide land-based military groupings with the ability to damage and destroy enemy aircraft. Manpads proved to be decisive weapon in the Afghan-Soviet war of the 1980s. Manpads pose a specific threat to peace and security in Africa, and other regions, as terrorist groups and non-state actors can use Manpads to target and destroy civilian aircraft.
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