Skyflash is an advanced radar guided air to air missile

Skyflash is an advanced radar-guided air-to-air missile based on the US-designed AIM-7 Sparrow which was taken into service in 1977, but with improved guidance and fusing systems.


Designed to operate in severe electronic counter-measure conditions, it has an all-weather high/low altitude attack capability.


The British Aerospace Sky Flash and the Alenia Aspide share a common heritage, both are based on the US AIM-7 Sparrow. Sky Flash and Aspide are very similar to Sparrow in construction, Sky Flash being just a little longer and wider. The missile can be divided into essentially five basic sections; radome/front receiver, guidance, warhead, flight control and rocket motor. These sections are wrapped up in an Aluminium based frame with four delta wings mounted centrally and four delta fins mounted at the rear.


Like Sparrow, Sky Flash and Apside are semi-active missiles using the launch aircrafts own radar to illuminate the target and provide guidance. The major differences between AIM-7, Sky Flash and Aspide lay in the choice of propulsion, warhead and guidance. While the Sparrow series use Raytheon sourced receiver assemblies, Sky Flash utilises a Marconi XJ521 monopulse system and control software and Aspide uses a Selenia manufacturer radar receiver. Similarly the current generation US Sparrow's use a Hercules rocket motor while Sky Flash uses a combination of Rocketdyne or Aerojet systems, Aspide utilises SNIA-Viscosa sourced solid motor.

SKY FLASH Specifications
Type Advanced radar-guided air-to-air missile
Manufacturer BAe Systems
Weight 192kg
Warhead 30kg blast fragmentation
Length 3.66m
Diameter 0.203m
Performance Range 50km, speed > Mach 1, guidance semi-active homing radar