As the 1960s began, the British army was eagerly anticipating the replacement of their Bofors 40mm guns with a new SAM system- the US Army's MIM-46 Mauler. Mauler was an extremely advanced system, and when it was canceled in 1963, the UK decided to try again with something more simple. Rapier was that system.
Put simply, Rapier was a big, fast TOW that used a radio link instead of a wire. When a search radar atop the launcher detected an incoming target, the system's gunner tracked it using a magnified optical sight and fired a missile. The gunner continued tracking the target with his sight, and the launcher's dish antenna transmitted corresponding guidance commands to the missile until impact. Unlike later systems like Tunguska and ADATS and the 1988 iteration of Rapier, base Rapier was a pure hit-to-kill missile, with no proximity fuse and a tiny 1.4 kg warhead. It had 6800m of range and flew at about mach 2- launch to maximum range took around 13 seconds.
Most British Rapier systems were stationary, but in the late '70s, Iran demanded a mobile system to cover their shiny new Chieftains. This was achieved by putting a modified version of the system on a heavily modified M548 cargo carrier. This was called, with great imagination, Tracked Rapier. The gunner's position was placed at the front, inside the lightly armored driver's cab, and the system was fitted with armored launchers for 8 missiles. After the Iranian Revolution, the completed units were bought by the British army, and operated until 1993. '80s versions of the unit added automatic guidance capability using a radar on a separate M548, as well as a FLIR camera for use at night.
- British mobile SAM system from the '70s, on an M113 chassis with very light armor
- 6800m range, mach 2 missiles
- SACLOS guidance system using a telescope or helmet-mounted sight
- 1.4 kg warhead with no proximity fuse
- 8 missiles ready to fire on the vehicle, no reloads
- Crew of 3
- Remove helicopter from the premises
© Post "Gaijin Please: Tracked Rapier" for game War Thunder.
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