Air Weapons: Sidewinder Takes Down Ballistic Missiles

Archives

December 8, 2007: The U.S. Department of Defense has developed seekers for AIM-9X (Sidewinder) and AIM-120 (AMRAAM) air-to-air missiles that enable ballistic missiles to be shot down. This happens when the missiles are in their "boost" (moving skyward) phase. Moreover, the seekers were transmitting their images via a NCADE (Net-Centric Airborne Defense Element) communications system. NCADE links aircraft and UAVs, equipped with air-to-air missiles, into a network of sensors, looking for ballistic missile launch. Second count, so the system would have to promptly alert any aircraft near enough to launch a missile, and get that missile moving in the direction of the rapidly climbing ballistic missile.

Equipping aircraft with NCADE missiles would provide another layer of anti-missile protection. It will be several years before NCADE completes testing, then a decision must be made as to whether it's worthwhile putting into service. In several recent wars, the U.S. has had air superiority, but the enemy still had some hidden ballistic missiles that could be fired. This would be the case with Iran and North Korea.

The AIM-9X has a max range of about 18 kilometers, while the AIM-120 is about a hundred kilometers. The NCADE version of the AMRAAM is equipped with a heat seeking guidance system from the Sidewinder, and a rocket booster (making it a two stage missile) so that it can hit ballistic missiles that have moved to a high altitude.

 


Article Archive

Air Weapons: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close