Hawker Siddeley Red Top

Hawker Siddeley Red Top

Infobox Weapon
is_missile=yes


caption= Red Top missile
name=Red Top
type=air-to-air
origin=United Kingdom
era=Cold War
platform=aircraft
target=aircraft
manufacturer=Hawker Siddeley Dynamics
design_date=
production_date=
service=1964 - 1988
used_by= United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait
wars=
spec_type= homing missile
diameter= 0.23 m
wingspan=0.91 m
length=3.32 m
weight= 154 kg
speed=Mach 3.2
vehicle_range=7.5 miles (12 km)
ceiling=
filling=31 kg (68.3 lb) annular blast fragmentation
engine="Linnet" solid fuel motor
steering=control surfaces
guidance=infrared, limited all-aspect
variants=?
number=
detonation="Green Garland" infrared proximity

The Hawker Siddeley (later British Aerospace) Red Top was the third indigenous British air-to-air missile to enter service, following the de Havilland Firestreak and limited-service Fairey Fireflash.

Development

Red Top was originally a rationalized, upgraded version of the earlier Firestreak air-to-air missile carried out by de Havilland Propellors and was known as Blue Jay Mark 4 (its development codename) and Firestreak Mk. IV. Such were the changes that it was effectively a new missile. It arranged its components in more logical fashion than the Firestreak (which had its warhead in the tail), with an improved "Violet Banner" seeker, "Green Garland" IR fuse, and a more powerful "Linnet" booster rocket. It also had a larger warhead, at 31 kg (68.3 lb) against 22.7 kg (50 lb).

The Red Top had greater range and maneuvrability than the Firestreak, and its more sensitive infrared seeker enabled a wider range of engagement angles. Being more sensitive it could home in on a target that had been warmed by air friction heating [ [http://www.vectorsite.net/aveeltg.html The English Electric (BAC) Lightning ] ] although it was still not a true all-aspect missile like the later AIM-9L/M Sidewinder.

The Red Top entered service in 1964, arming the English Electric Lightning and de Havilland Sea Vixen. It remained in limited service until the final retirement of the Lightning in 1988.

A variant called Blue Dolphin or Blue Jay Mk. V, was proposed, using semi-active radar homing for capability similar to the AIM-7 Sparrow, but it was not adopted.

Operators

; KUW
* Kuwait Air Force; SAU
* Royal Saudi Air Force; UK
* Royal Air Force
* Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm

ee also

* Rainbow Codes

External links

* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=3mBMYUljwd8&feature=related Gun camera view of a Lightning firing a Red Top at very high altitude (see at 01m.39s]

References


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