The anti-armor weapons of United States light infantry has long stood vigilant across many wars, with famous launchers such as the FIM-92 'Stinger', M72 LAW and the vengeful Javelin turning any enemy tank into scrap metal with one successful hit. However, during the 21st century, the United States Armed Forces had to take drastic budget cuts in order to continue field their armies with portable anti-armor weapons. With more advanced enemies appearing on the horizon and with a decline of volunteers for the mobile infantry, the U.S. Armed Forces had a dilemma. They needed to consolidate the amount of heavy weapon specialists in each regiment, meaning they had to carry more weapons if they were to engage both ground and air targets. The solution was the SRAW. The SRAW fires an SACLOS missile that can be fired and guided upon any type of target, be it tank, helicopter, or in some cases, even jets. The warhead used is not the heaviest nor most efficient one, but its versitality in use compared to any other system made it popular amongst the US-troops.
During the Global War on Terror, the wielders of these launchers were comically named 'Missile Defenders', due to them being rarely issued more than the SRAW and a handgun.
The Missile Defender is the USA's primary anti-armor and anti-air infantry. Armed with a powerful missile launcher, the Defender can cut through tanks, vehicles and aircraft with ease and still stand vigilant. Although lacking defense against infantry, it is generally a good idea to use Defenders alongside regular Rangers or support them with Pathfinders, in order to offer better protection against other threats.
The Missile Defender also has a unique ability called Laser Lock. A Defender will "paint" a target vehicle using this mode, gaining a range boost, and allow all nearby Missile Defenders to open fire on it with a much higher rate of fire, guaranteeing the vehicle's destruction and coming especially in handy when dealing with heavier threats such as Overlords.