Difference between revisions of "Rapier (missile)"

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Revision as of 00:50, 19 February 2012

Swiss rapier missile.jpg
A Swiss Rapier.
TypeSurface-to-air missile
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service1971–present
Production history
DesignerBritish Aircraft Corporation
Mass45 kg

Maximum speed Mach 2.5

Rapier is a British surface-to-air missile. It was developed for the British Army and Royal Air Force. It entered service in 1971. It has now replaced all other anti-aircraft weapons in service with the British Army. Rapier is still the UK's most-used air-defence weapon even after almost 35 years of service.

Rapier defends against fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles.[1] It is able to fire two missiles at once.[1]

Rapier can be moved around by ground and air.[1]


Rapier started being developed privately by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). It was then known as "Sightline".[2]

At the time the British Army was planning to buy the advanced American MIM-46 Mauler system for its air-defence. The first test firings of Rapier happened in 1966.[2] Complete Rapiers were tested in 1968. This led to a production contract being given in 1969. Rapier entered service in 1971 with the British Army, and 1974 with the Royal Air Force Regiment.

Possible replacement

It has been announced the UK MoD was giving money to a company to find a replacement for Rapier. The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) would have some components the same as the ASRAAM missile which is in service with the RAF.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "British Army equipment". British Army. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Rapier 2000/Jernas", Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 15 February 2008
  3. Missiles and Fire Support at DSEi 2007

Other websites

Media related to Rapier missiles at Wikimedia Commons