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American naval weapons


RIM-7M Sea Sparrow

RIM-7 is a highly maneuverable air-to-air missile with surface-to-air capability.
The Navy's RIM-7M Sea Sparrow and the Air Force's AIM-7 Sparrow are radar-guided, air-to-air missiles with high explosive warheads. They have a cylindrical body with four wings at mid-body and four tail fins. The Navy uses the Sea Sparrow version aboard ships as a surface-to-air anti-missile defense. The versatile Sparrow has all-weather, all-altitude operational capability and can attack high-performance aircraft and missiles from any direction. It is widely deployed by U.S. and NATO forces. The Sea Sparrow is found aboard many U.S. and NATO surface warships.
Originally developed by Sperry and the U.S. Navy, Sparrow's later versions were developed and produced by Raytheon Co. and General Dynamics. Subsequent versions were dubbed the "dog-fight modification" because its increased maneuverability at short range made it better suited for close-in visual engagements.
General characteristics
Primary function Air-to-air and surface-to-air radar-guided missile
Contractors Raytheon Co. and General Dynamics
Power plant Hercules MK-58 solid-propellant rocket motor
Thrust Classified
Speed More than  2,660 mph 4,256 km/h
Range More than  35 miles 55 km
Length 12 ft 3.64 m
Diameter 8 in 20.3 cm
Wingspan 3 ft 4 in 1 m
Warhead Annular blast fragmentation, 90 lb 40.5 kg
Launch weight Approximately 500 lb 225 kg
Guidance system Raytheon semi-active on continuous wave or pulsed Doppler radar energy
Date deployed 1976
Unit cost $165,400
Inventory Classified
Aircraft Platforms Navy: F-14 and F/A-18; Air Force: F-4, F-15, and F-16;
Marine Corps: F-4 and F/A-18

Jirka Wagner


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