Sparrow - Air-Launched BMD Targets
The Sparrow (Hebrew = Ankor] air-launched ballistic target missiles simulate trajectories, re-entry maneuvers and signatures of various ballistic missiles. The systems enable flexible test capabilities and readiness. The Sparrow target missile is produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The missile is used as a target missile to test the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system. The missile has a modular warhead section and is capable of carrying a high explosive warhead. The missile exists in three version, Black Sparrow, Blue Sparrow, and Silver Sparrow. Sparrow targets simulate trajectories, re-entry maneuvers and signatures of various Ballistic Missiles. Targets include the short-range Black Sparrow and the medium-range Blue Sparrow and Silver Sparrow. They were selected by the Israeli Ministry of Defense for testing the US/Israeli Arrow Missile Defense Systems. The Black Sparrow was also selected by a foreign country. The Sparrow targets can be supplied as a “target in the air” according to customer requirements.
Sparrow targets offer medium to high fidelity threat representation and a comprehensive response to BMD sensor and interceptor test and training requirements. They can be launched above land and over sea, providing test scenario flexibility. The target systems are easily adaptable to test range requirements due to adjustable trajectories, telemetry, radar transponders and Flight Termination System.
Target mission preparation and verification are quick and simple. Target operational software is easily loaded during pre-flight procedures. This enables a dramatic time reduction in achieving test readiness.
Black Sparrow simulates unitary short-range theater Ballistic Missiles such as the SCUD-B. It has performed very successfully in a series of fly-out and interception test missions where various trajectories and re-entry maneuvers were carried out.
Blue and Silver Sparrow simulates unitary and separable medium to long-range theaters such as SCUD-C/D, Shihab and others. Both targets use the same RV, incorporating a redundant Autonomous Flight Termination System and a 3-axis Attitude Control System. Blue Sparrow performed flawlessly in all itsmissions so far.
In July 2007 Israel released the first image of an air force Boeing F-15D fighter carrying a Rafael Blue Sparrow target missile, developed to test the capabilities of improved versions of the country's Israel Aerospace Industries-built Arrow anti-ballistic missile system. The new-generation target is a further growth of the Black Sparrow previously used during Arrow testing. Acting as a surrogate ballistic missile target, the air-launched device simulates the altitude, velocity, thermal characteristics and radar cross-section of threats such as the Shihab-3 intercontinental-range ballistic missile manufactured by Iran.
In September 2013 the Israeli Ministry of Defence (IMOD) carried out test firing of the Silver Sparrow air-launched target missile from an Israel Air Force (IAF) base over the Mediterranean Sea. Manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Silver Sparrow is designed to simulate the trajectories of long-range ballistic missiles that the two-tier Arrow 3 system is likely to encounter in future. Capable of launching from IAF's F-15 fighters, the missile is an upgraded variant of the Black Sparrow and Blue Sparrow manoeuvring target missiles. The two-stage Silver Sparrow is a much larger and faster version of the Black Sparrow and Blue Sparrow
Unlike Israel’s F-15-launched single-stage Black and Blue Sparrows used to test existing Arrow-2 interceptors, the larger Silver Sparrow is planned for launch from C-130 military transport aircraft. But like the 1.2-ton Black Sparrow — designed to mimic Scud-type missiles — and the 1.9-ton Blue Sparrow resembling the Iranian Shahab series of missiles, Silver Sparrow will feature modular warheads to simulate conventional and nonconventionally tipped missiles and will be designed to replicate multiple types of re-entry trajectories.
Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael chose the February 2019 Aero India trade show in Bengaluru to unveil a new long-range air-to-surface missile, named Rocks. According to the manufacturer, Rocks is an advanced, extended-standoff-range weapon, intended for use against high-value targets, both stationary and mobile. The guidance system comprises INS/GPS for midcourse navigation, while terminal homing on to the target is performed using its electro-optical seeker and advanced image processing. As such, it is said to be suitable for use “even in theatres where the enemy employs effective GPS countermeasures”.
The missile can be equipped with either a penetration or blast-fragmentation warhead, to destroy above-ground or well-defended underground targets in heavily surface-to-air-defended areas. Rocks is designed to be launched at “a very significant standoff range”, outside the range of enemy air defence systems. Exposure of the launch aircraft to threats is also reduced by “a high-velocity trajectory towards the target”.
Yuval Miller, executive vice-president and general manager of Rafael Air & C4ISR Systems Division said: “Rocks provides a cutting-edge and cost-effective solution that combines several combat-proven technologies inherited from our latest-generation SPICE system. Rocks effectively answers a growing demand for long range, GPS-independent air-to-ground precision-strike capability.” He added: “Aero India is an excellent opportunity to present this new system, and we can proudly say that as of today, Rafael is well situated in India with a broad industrial base, joint ventures, indigenous companies and a substantial Indian supply chain, as part of our commitment to the Make in India policy.”
|Black Sparrow||Blue Sparrow||Silver Sparrow|
|Threat representation||SCUD-B||SCUD-C/D||SCUD-C/D Shihab|
|Target Length||4.85 m||6.51 m||8.39 m|
|Propulsion||Single Stage Solid Rocket Propellant|
|Pre-launch weight||1,275 kg||1,900 kg||3,130 kg|
|Navigation system||INS / GPS||GPS and Dual INS|
|Attitude ControlSystem||N/A||3-axis, cold-gas, mounted on RV|
|Telemetry system||2-channels, omni-coverage|
|Flight Termination System||Dual Redundant||Dual Redundant with|
|Avionics & Nose-Cone Payload||Common to all targets|
|Re-entry Vehicle||Not Separable||Common Configuration |
(nose-cone, electronics and ACS Section)
ROCKS Autonomous Extended Stand-Off Range ASM
ROCKS is a new generation extended stand-off range air-to-surface missile designed to strike high-value stationary and relocatable targets in a GPS-denied arena. Equipped with either a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead, the missile can destroy above-ground or well protected underground targets in heavily surface-to-air defended areas.
“Rocks” is an advanced, extended stand-off range air-to-surface missile, which may be used against high value targets, stationary and re-locatable, even in theaters where the enemy employs effective GPS countermeasures. Equipped with either a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead, the missile can destroy above-ground or well-defended underground targets in heavily surface-to-air-defended areas. “Rocks” is launched at a very significant standoff range, well outside of the enemy’s air-defence coverage area, and performs a high velocity trajectory towards the target. This minimizes the launch aircraft exposure to threats, as well as improves the strike success rate.
The pilot allocates a mission for the missile before release. The mission includes target coordinates, impact angle and azimuth, topographic imagery data, and fuse delays. ROCKS is released well outside of the surface-to-air defended area, and performs a high-velocity trajectory to minimize attrition of both launching aircraft and missile, providing high target kill success.
The missile uses its INS/GPS for conducting its midcourse trajectory. Homing, up to target destruction, is performed by using its scene-matching technology or Anti-Radiation capability, overcoming any GPS jamming scenario.
The missile incorporates RAFAEL’S advanced technologies inherited from the legacy Popeye and SPICE combat-proven air-to-surface weapons. ROCKS has day, night, and all-weather capabilities, based on the advanced electro-optical seeker. The Automatic Target Acquisition algorithm, with its unique scene-matching and Anti-Radiation technologies, overcomes GPS jamming, navigation, and Target Location Errors.
Rafael unveiled the new long range stand-off air-to-surface missile at the Aero India Air Show in Bengaluru, India, in February 2019. “Rocks” provides a cutting edge and cost-effective solution that combines several combat-proven technologies inherited from our latest generation SPICE system. Rocks effectively answers a growing demand for long range, GPS-independent Air-to-Ground precision strike capability”, Said Yuval Miller, Executive Vice-President and General-Manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Systems Division. “Aero India is an excellent opportunity to present this new system, and we can proudly say that as of today, Rafael is well-situated in India with a broad industrial base, Joint-Ventures, indigenous companies and a substantial Indian supply-chain, as part of our commitment to the “MAKE-IN-INDIA” policy”, Miller added.
|Warhead||Penetration or Blast Fragmentation|
|Fuse||Preset and Cockpit-Selectable|