Editor’s Note: Not only are the Israelis industrious, but they’re also pretty brilliant when it comes to developing advanced weapons technology. We talked a little about that in our various F-35 discussions, and while they anxious await fielding their first 5th-Generation fighter, they’ve been developing a new weapon for their 4th-Gen aircraft. Called the SkySniper, it is an adaptation of a surface-to-surface missile which now has air-launch capability.
Powered by a rocket motor, the SkySniper strikes its target at supersonic speed. The high velocity impact with multi-purpose blast-fragmentation warhead and three-mode fuse enables effective penetration of hard targets. Tailored to destroy a wide range of targets, the missile can also detonate in airburst or impact action modes to maximize effect on area or soft targets.
Designed as an affordable weapon, the SkySniper uses GPS/INS guidance to achieve pinpoint targeting under all weather conditions. Coordinates and trajectory commands can be loaded to each missile on the ground or in the air, by the pilot, prior to launch. Once launched, the missile flies to its assigned target, navigating its way passively on GPS/INS. Trajectory shaping can be employed to gain the range, and required attack angles as well as to evade enemy defenses.
According to IAI, the 4m (13.1ft)-long weapon has a maximum range of 81nm (150km), and carries a general purpose blast/fragmentation warhead. It says up to four could be carried by platforms including the Boeing F-15 and F/A-18, Lockheed Martin F-16, MiG-29, Sukhoi Su-30 or IAI Kfir.
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(Featured photo courtesy of FlightGlobal)