RIM-7 SEASPARROW in Ukraine: NATO missile meets an USSR launcher
Raytheon's RIM-7 SEASPARROW missile system is a highly effective surface-to-air missile primarily used by naval forces for defense against hostile aircraft and missiles. The missile is a direct development of the AIM-7E Sparrow air-to-air missile and has undergone several modifications to make it suitable for surface-to-air deployment.
The SEASPARROW missile is designed with a cylindrical body that measures 12 feet (3.7 m) in length and 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.The missile features four mid-body wings and four tail fins that help it maneuver through the air. With a weight of 510lb (230kg), the missile is powered by a Hercules MK-58 solid-propellant rocket motor, which enables it to reach a maximum speed of 2,645 mph (4,256 km/h).
The missile is equipped with a semi-active radar homing guidance system, which allows it to track and engage targets accurately. This technology enables the missile to detect targets at a range of up to 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers). The SEASPARROW missile can engage a variety of targets, including low-flying aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles .
Recently, it has been reported that SEASPARROW missiles will be launched from an old Soviet land-based system in Ukraine. The Buk is a tracked, short-range air defense system that employs semi-active radar technology that is now considered obsolete. However, the homing technology used in the Buk is similar to that of the Sparrow, which allowed Ukrainian engineers to figure out how to launch SEASPARROW from Buk command centers, using the system's 9E420 radar to guide the missiles to their targets.
The SEASPARROW missile is an essential component of naval defense systems worldwide. Its operational range and accuracy make it a formidable weapon against airborne threats. With the recent developments in the missile's launch platform, the SEASPARROW missile system will become an even more versatile and effective tool in defending against air attacks.