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Encyclopedia > Rapier missile
Rapier
Rapier FSC
Type SAM Surface-to-air missile
Nationality UK
Era Cold War
Launch platform vehicle
Target aircraft
History
Builder British Aerospace now MBDA (UK) Ltd
Date of design
Production period
Service duration
Operators United Kingdom, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia
Variants Mk1 (Hittile), Mk2B (Missile)
Number built ?
Specifications
Type
Diameter 0.133 m
Wing span 0.138
Length 2.235
Weight 45 kg
Propulsion solid fuel rocket
Steering control surface
Guidance GGU
Speed Mach 2.5
Range 400 - 6,800 m
Ceiling 3,000 m
Payload
Warhead Fragmentation explosive close proximity warhead
Trigger Proximity triggered chemical fuse
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Category:Rapier missile

Rapier is a British surface-to-air missile developed for the British Army and Royal Air Force. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2848 × 2136 pixel, file size: 1. ... Akash Missile Firing French Air Force Crotale battery Bendix Rim-8 Talos surface to air missile of the US Navy A surface-to-air missile (SAM) is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft. ... A weapons platform is generally any structure or system on which a weapon can be mounted. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Akash Missile Firing French Air Force Crotale battery Bendix Rim-8 Talos surface to air missile of the US Navy A surface-to-air missile (SAM) is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... “RAF” redirects here. ...

Contents

History

Rapier began development in the 1960s as the ET.316 project which was a back up for the planned purchase of the US Mauler missile system. The project was to combat supersonic, low level, high manoeuvrability craft. The British Aircraft Corporation, as it was at the time, had a private venture Sightline which formed the basis of ET.316. The subsequent cancellation of Mauler meant that ET.316 would be completely developed. Entering service with the British military in 1971, due to its accuracy it was promoted as a "hittile", originally relying on direct impact with the target rather than the large proximity fused warheads used by other missiles. A United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in transonic flight. ... The British Aircraft Corporation, or BAC, was a British aircraft manufacturer, formed from the merger (under government pressure) of English Electric Aviation Ltd. ... In the fields of science, engineering, industry and statistics, accuracy is the degree of conformity of a measured or calculated quantity to its actual (true) value. ... A proximity fuse (sometimes spelled fuze) is a fuse that is designed to detonate an explosive automatically when close enough to the target to destroy it. ...


The initial version employed an optical tracker. Later versions added a tracking radar Blindfire (DN181) and an electro-optical tracker. A cheaper export derivative with a laser tracker was known as Laserfire.


Rapier in its initial outing took the form of a wheeled launcher with four missiles, an optical tracker unit and trailer of stores — the whole kit along with crew delivered by three Land Rovers. It was typically used for airfield defence. Land Rover was the name of one of the first British civilian all-terrain utility vehicles, first produced by Rover in 1947. ...


With the addition of the tracker radar unit enemy targets could be identified quicker and then the operator could choose an entirely automatic launch, or manual operation.


A mobile tracked version Tracked Rapier was subsequently developed using the US M548 tracked carrier for the Shah of Iran. With the collapse of the Shah's government before delivery BAe had a system which they offered to the Royal Air Force. One of the worlds longest-lasting monarchies, the Iranian monarchy went through many transformations over the centuries, from the days of Persia to the creation of what is now modern day Iran. ...


The first tracked rapiers to enter service with the British army were with 11 (Sphinx) Air defence Battery,of 22 Air defence Regiment, Royal Artillery in 1982-83 in Napier Barracks near Dortmund West Germany. They were slow: 13mph, cross country; 20-30 mph, on road, and the conditions in the launcher were cramped. The driver, commander and operator lived in the cab, which was approximately 1 m × 2.5 m × 1.5 m; this space was also taken up by an optical tracking unit, personal kit and rations. Deployment time, without test and adjustments (Ts & As), was about 30 seconds, compared to 30 minutes for the towed system. The support vehicle carried arms, water, fuel, was crewed by a driver and crew commander, and was much faster: 30mph, cross county. Former crew members say that the system was enjoyable to work on.


Combat history

The original Rapier FSA was deployed during the Falklands War and saw disappointing performance against low-flying aircraft. In April 1982 T Bty battery joined 3 Commando Brigade as part of the Falklands Task Force. They landed at San Carlos on 21st May and early post-war reports were favourable, indicating 14 kills and 6 probables. Later post-war reports however, taking into account Argentine records, reduced this tally to a single kill and two probables. The main problems were a lack of range and the lack of a proximity fuse, which required to operator to actually hit the target aircraft with the missile.[1] Combatants Argentina United Kingdom Commanders President Leopoldo Galtieri Vice-Admiral Juan Lombardo Brigadier-General Ernesto Crespo Brigade-General Mario Menéndez Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse Rear-Admiral John “Sandy” Woodward Major-General Jeremy Moore Casualties 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner 75 fixed...


Rapier also suffered with problems with the IFF (Identification Friend Or Foe) system, although this did not contribute to the poor performance in the Falklands, since the batteries were allowed to fire at any targets, unless specifically instructed otherwise (e.g. by air control indicating that a friendly aircraft was coming in to land).


The current version, Rapier FSC (Field Standard C), was developed by MBDA (previously Matra BAe Dynamics) and is in service with the Royal Artillery. There is also an export version of the missile system called Jernas. Development of the FSC system began at the end of the 1980s and the systems first entered service in 1996. MBDA is a European arms company which manufactures missiles and is the result of the 2001 merger of Aérospatiale-Matra Missiles (of EADS), Alenia Marconi Systems missile divisions and Matra BAe Dynamics. ... The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army It is made up of a number of regiments. ...


It is used in a combined system with the Blindfire tracking radar and the Dagger surveillance radar. Eight missiles can be carried ready to fire, each with a high explosive warhead and missiles (designated MK2B) are now fitted with a proximity fuse. The missile's propulsion system is a two stage enhanced solid-propellant rocket motor capable of around Mach 2.5. The guidance is automatic infra-red and radar command to line of sight. For other uses, see Radar (disambiguation). ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... A B61 nuclear bomb in various stages of assembly; the nuclear warhead is the bullet-shaped silver cannister in the middle-left of the photograph. ... A proximity fuse (sometimes spelled fuze) is a fuse that is designed to detonate an explosive automatically when close enough to the target to destroy it. ... A propellant is a material that is used to move an object by applying a motive force. ... A rocket is a vehicle, missile or aircraft which obtains thrust by the reaction to the ejection of fast moving exhaust from within a rocket engine. ... An F/A-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier. ... Infra-red homing refers to a guidance system which uses the infra-red light emission from a target to track it. ...


There was also an incident with the B-2 being tracked at Farnborough (2 September 1996), when BAe caused a storm after it released a video showing the Rapier SAM system tracking the B-2 Stealth bomber in IR as it did a flyby. The person that took the infrared shot of the B2 'stealth plane' as it flew past was one Cpl. Richard Varlow, of the RAF Regiment. The Rapier had recently been updated with newer radar and tracking systems specifically designed to track such aircraft."


References

  1. ^ T Headquarter Battery (Shah Sujah’s Troop) Royal Artillery. Retrieved on 2007-07-05.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Rapier missile: Definition and Links by Encyclopedian.com (291 words)
A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword with a blade at...period of use, the rapiers was double-edged, some later rapiers were single-edged (with a sharpky...
Rapier FSC (Field Standard C) is a surface-to-air missile to combat supersonic, low level, high manoeuvrability craft.
An early version of the Rapier missile was deployed during the Falklands War and credited with 20 kills.
Rapier missile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (576 words)
Rapier is a British surface-to-air missile developed for the British Army and Royal Air Force.
Rapier began development in the 1960s as the ET.316 project which was a back up for the planned purchase of the US Mauler missile system.
Rapier in its initial outing took the form of a wheeled launcher with four missiles, an optical tracker unit FSB2 and trailer of stores—the whole kit along with crew delivered by three Land Rovers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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